Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In the Sweet Spot

On May 20th, 2012 the Moon crossed paths with the Sun.

And its shadow touched the Earth.

It started in China.

Lingered for five minutes over Tokyo.

Zipped across the Pacific Ocean.

Clipping the Aleutian Islands.

As it headed toward the lower forty-eight.

It came ashore in northern California.

Crossed Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, ...

... and the shadow, traveling in the opposite direction of the setting Sun and Moon, left the surface of the Earth over Texas.

It passed over me in Kanaraville, Utah, the self proclaimed "Sweet Spot".

Where I was joined by several thousand other folks. Not bad for a town of 300 or so residents.

And it lived up to it's billing. It was very sweet indeed.

This was an annular solar eclipse, so called because unlike a total solar eclipse the moon doesn't quite cover the sun, leaving an annulus of light, a ring of fire, around the large black spot which was the moon.

The weather was perfect and the people were friendly. And the town of Kanarraville did a great job of providing viewing areas for an estimated 10,000 visitors. Not bad for a town with no tourist facilities, no hotels, no restaurants.

The eclipse ended with the Sun setting over a hill, as the Moon slid off.

A luminous shark's fin swimming into the night.

 It was almost a perfect day.


At the midpoint of the eclipse, just as the Sun and Moon we coincident, my camera battery died. I had a replacement, but I missed the shot, although not the view. And I did not have the right adapter to image through my hα solar scope, through which the view was quite spectacular.

I'll be ready next time.

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