5.21.2012

{personal} total solar eclipse

For those of you who know how much I love astronomy, you know how excited I was to view the recent solar eclipse! I can't believe I was able to see it! Yet another reason why being on the west coast rocks.

Actually, I had kind of given up on seeing it since I waited too long to get special eclipse-viewing sunglasses - Amazon was too expensive, and then I was too busy working to go galavanting about the city looking for a place that actually sold them. So about an hour into the eclipse, I broke down and decided to take an empty Pringles can that was lying about and puncture a hole in the bottom and project the sun onto a piece of paper. And it actually worked! Instead of a tiny round circle of light, it was crescent-shaped. I'm not sure why I didn't think it would work, but it did. Or, I guess it's more that I didn't think it would be so impressive. But it was!

And the world actually did get darker, but it was a weird kind of dark - a bright kind of dark. It wasn't as if a cloud passed in front of the sun, diffusing and softening and dimming the light. The sun was still shining directly on us, but then the moon just got in the way. (I have vague memories of experiencing this the only other time I experienced a solar eclipse, sitting in the gymnasium back in elementary school.)

Anyway, I was extremely excited that I actually got to "see" the solar eclipse! I was starting to think I'd never get the chance to do so. So I obviously took some pictures. The ones posted here are of tiny eclipses created by the sunlight shining through the leaves of my little maidenhair fern.