Friday, March 20, 2015


We got at most about 55% here and in Rome. According to the national Italian astronomical organisation, they got 69% in Milan, which was the most in this country. Totality could be seen only in the Faroe Islands in Iceland.

After we had all the lunar coverage we were going to get here, I watched the live feed by SLOOH from the Faroe Islands. At totality, the screen went absolutely black until they removed the filters from the cameras, and BAM!

Spectacular! The Baily's Beads, the little ring of lights where the sun shone over the moon's craters, then two solar prominences, then as the moon moved on, the Diamond Ring effect.

I was outside for most of it with the pinhole camera I made. The light did indeed get noticably dimmer, and took on a strange quality. At the peak of our coverage, all the dogs and cats in the neighbourhood went bananas, barking and howling and running madly around. Which was cool.

While all this was going on, the guy from the ferramenta came by with my new trestle table, and he showed me the photos he took with welder's glass. We watched the coverage for a few minutes, and he said there was going to be a total eclipse visible from Norcia in about 15 years. So put it on your calendars.

Then I planted my nasturtium seeds and all was well with the universe.

I vaguely remember a near-total eclipse in Victoria from my early school days, and they told us, of course, that we couldn't watch it directly but taught us how to make pinhole cameras to see it. I looked it up on the innernet and voy-lah! Because, Science!

Best pic. With my eye (stupid camera!) it looked a lot cooler, like a cookie with a big bite taken out.

Nature Girl doing her nerdy Amateur Naturalist thing...

V. annoyed that the camera couldn't pick it up, but at this stage it looked like a little Pac-man.

Slightly off topic - Daffs!!

Peak. The light all around was very weird.

The BBC's footage of totality in the Faroe Islands.

I thought it was pretty funny listening to the commenters from SLOOH talking about what an "amazing coincidence" it is that the moon is precisely the right size and distance from the earth to create total eclipses.

The closest we'll come to a totality in this area again will be August 12th, 2026 but it will be close to sunset. We'll get most of the eclipse but then the sun will drop below the horizon, at about 8 pm. The next total eclipse that will be completely visible, weather permitting, will be in 2187. I can't guarantee I'll be able to get pics.


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