Reply to post: If you EVER have the chance...

Gaze in awe at the first ever movie of a solar eclipse from recording long thought lost forever

Tikimon Silver badge
IT Angle

If you EVER have the chance...

If you will ever be within 200 miles of a total eclipse of the sun, GO SEE IT! Stay overnight if you must. Pictures don't express it, descriptions fall short. I finally saw one two years ago and I'll never miss another one on this continent. Our group were all wonder-filled geeks with good imaginations, and we were still blown away.

"So it gets dark and the sun turns black, so what?" It's NOTHING like dusk (dim light from sideways and often red-shifted) or a cloudy day (gray diffuse light). It's really weird. The light has the same spectrum, it still comes from above casting sharp shadows, the sky is still clear... but the light steadily fails. We all kept swiping at our eyes, it felt like something was wrong with them. It was blazing hot and blinding bright, but now we're standing in the open, cool and comfy without sunglasses.

Then the Shadow swept across the world. We saw it coming as distant clouds went dark, and the light dropped to its lowest. We lowered our sun shields and gazed in wonder at the black hole with wild white hair where our star used to be. It was like standing on an alien world, everyone felt that way. Far away past the edge of the shadow, we saw the world brightly lit by the sun. It's not just the occluded sun that makes an eclipse awesome. It's the total experience of the world turning very strange, birds going quiet, crickets starting to sing, and so on.

All too soon it was over. I looked down for some reason and saw a pattern of thin lines go racing across the ground. WTF? It was gone before I could get anyone else to look, but I heard from others who saw that phenomenon.

I hope I've inspired someone to make the effort one day. If you do, one word of advice. Take a quick picture or two to document the occasion, and STOP. You can download awesome shots from NASA later, better than you can take. You can't watch something so incredible through a stupid viewfinder. Watch and enjoy, don't play with cameras.

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