joy and delight, no words or images can describe the impact of what we
experiencing. The air got cool, the winds started to blow, the shadow
arrived faster then we imagined and suddenly it was totally
spite of the thin cloud cover we could see Venus directly over head. The
Sun was totally black surrounded by the corona. I was amazed at the perfect
The light was pure white wisps of gas, like no other
white light I have ever seen then all too soon, the diamond ring blooming and extinguishing as quickly as it
When the shadow arrived the air temperature
suddenly dropped 10 degrees. The winds started to blow, the creatures in the
bamboo forest began to shriek. Most joyful of all however was the primal instinct
to hoot and howl. I donít believe it is possible for anyone to keep quite.
I can only imagine how frightening
it must have been for the millions of people through history who witnessed a
total eclipse without knowledge of what was taking place.
Quick, hide the
Moments after witnessing the July 22nd 2009 Total Eclipse of the Sun our luck ran out
and the clouds returned. I pointed the time lapse camera toward the bamboo
forest surrounding us and watched with amazement as the mist filled the valley.
Suddenly we were completely enveloped in fog and our adventure on the mountain
came to an end.
What an amazing gift.
Better late than never, here is the truncated version of the 2009 Total Eclipse of the Sun from a mountain top in China.
This was shot with a Cannon HD camera on a small equatorial mount with solar filter and 1.5x extender. My apologies for missing the first "diamond ring", I pulled the filter off a moment too soon and wiped out the exposure but we captured a great one on way out. If you look carefully you can see some flares and structure of the corona through the clouds.
Many thanks to my family and to Jay Pasachoff of Williams College for an amazing adventure.