Today in San Diego we were treated to a partial solar eclipse. However, since at its maximum the moon only covered 45 % of the sun’s surface, most people were unaware that an eclipse was happening. How amazing is that, that 45% of the sun’s rays onto the Earth are blocked by the moon, and we don’t notice? Our sun is AWESOME!
Here is a link to an amazing video of the eclipse taken by the Griffith Observatory in LA, it condenses 2 1/2 hours of the eclipse into one minute.
This is my attempt to document the eclipse. I put my eclipse viewing glasses over the lens of my point and shoot camera and snapped a picture.
You can’t see them on my picture, but on the Griffith Observatory picture you can see a big patch of sun spots. When I looked with the naked eye I could see what looked like one big sun spot, not the collection of 3 or 4 you can see on their photo.
Here is the view of the eclipse at maximum, again from the observatory.
There are other ways to view an eclipse. You can make a pinhole camera by poking a hole in a board and holding it up to the sun, and then you can look at the image it projects onto a surface. Or you can get a super fancy version of that, like they had today at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego.
You can get the same effect by looking at sunlight filtered through tree leaves onto a sidewalk. I took this picture this afternoon during the eclipse. See all the little crescents?
Or, as my son Sam showed me after I picked him up from school, you can create the same effect by interlacing your fingers.
This morning, before the eclipse occurred, I noticed the morning sun shining through the petals of a newly blossomed cactus orchid in my yard. It is a good thing to be in the celestial Goldilocks zone! Life on Earth is so beautiful.
And finally, a picture Sam took recently. He pointed the camera directly at the sun. If you listen carefully, you can hear the image sensors in the camera screaming.
There you have it. A celebration of our sun, on occasion of a solar eclipse, this day, October 23, in the year 2014. Enjoy our sun in its current form. After another 5 billion years, it will burn up the remainder of its hydrogen, swell up into a red giant, consuming Mercury and Venus in the process, and toast away any remnants of life on Earth. But that’s a story for another day…