March 29, 2006
Photos from Eclipse Day
My fourth eclipse was again exciting, spectacular, awe inspiring, and beyond my expectations. So very happy that we had a spectacular rural scene to view this Tam Günes Tutulması! So hard to capture in words!
I was more excited about his eclipse than my previous three for some reason. The anticipation was building for several days so I went with the early group to enjoy the location a little longer. The spot we picked the previous day was perfect with ocean and mountain views.
The pre-eclipse play with binoculars and anything we could find to show the partial phases was fun. Then we experienced shadow band - my first time.
Then things went quickly - Bailey's beads, diamond ring and the long awaited totality. The view of Venus and the total 360 degree sunset was marvelous. I couldn't stop looking at the corona through my binoculars, but finally pulled them away and caught the full spectacle with the naked eye.
What a great experience. I had some tears and the same primal feeling I get each time.
Having now seen my 6th total solar eclipse, and racked up nearly 20 minutes beneath the moon's shadow, I wonder if perhaps the novelty and excitement will ever fade.
I don't think so, as every one is different. In this particular case, the spectacular naked-eye prominence that leapt out just before 3rd contact is something I will never forget. As well, I was able to glimpse the elusive "flash spectrum" just after 2nd contact using a small hand-held diffraction grating. With this I say 3 ring-like images of the sun - a blue one and a red one due to hydrogen, plus a green one due to helium. Helium in fact was first seen in the flash spectrum, and assumed to be some exotic element found only on the sun (Helios), and only later was it realised as being the second most common element in the universe!
In wondering (worrying?) if I'll ever tire of eclipse-chasing, I'm reminded of the villain in the movie "Star Trek: Generations" who will go any lengths (even altering the orbit of planets!) to put himself in the path of an ethereal phenomenon called the Nexus. I think we're both slightly mad, but driven by the same motivation: to experience Nirvana for mere minutes every couple of years or so is an appointment with destiny that I just wouldn't want to miss
It has been a very good experience, in a different way from my two previous eclipses seen from Germany and Australia. It was mice to be on a hill, where we could see the shadow approaching and leaving. Seeing the darkness linger on the mountains was awesome! I too a couple of photos with my little camera but mostly enjoyed the event with my naked eye and my small monocular, which allowed me to point at the sun very quickly. I feel sorry for all those people who have never seen a total solar eclipse, it's a humbling and grand experience at the same time. I hope I'll be able to convince some of them to come to the next eclipse chase.
I am sure it will be different again, we'll have another landscape to look at as we wait, and we may not see the lovely, sunset-like clouds along the horizon we had this time. (let's hope it be clear at least!), but we will have the chance of visiting a fascinating foreign land as we travel towards one of the most inspiring wonders that Nature has to offer!
This is number five for me. I finally feel I've graduated from eclipse chaser novice.
As always words are mere shadows of the real experience. How is it possible to capture something so rare, so beautiful, so fleeting, with words?
Time seems to stand still as I wait and watch for the last minute slice of sunlight to disappear behind the moon's shadow.
Bailey's Beads, the Diamond Ring and there she is once more, the celestial Queen in the sky. I revel in the gossamer streamers stretching their pearlescent white threads in yet another pattern, each eclipse's streamers its unique visual fingerprint.
I search for red prominences. I see them. She's in her full glory today. I smile to my core.
As before, the black shadow touches the deepest parts of my soul. It is the quiet harbor in the center of this glorious experience.
All parts are majestic, mystical, magical---and gone too quickly.
Memories until next time.
My fondest technical memory of the eclipse was SHADOW BANDS !!! In my first 4 eclipses I had looked for them but never seen them. I started to believe them to be in the same category as grunion and green flashes. The night before this eclipse, I had a dream about shadow bands that looked like electric rain. That was strange since I had always looked for rippling like the light ripples at the bottom of the swimming pool. Much to my surprise, they did look like sparkling electric rain to me. Thanks to Stuart for thinking of the sheets to bring these out.
Of course, the technical aspect is not nearly as good as the emotional aspect. I especially enjoyed having the kids there to enjoy it through their eyes. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the group for their wonderful tolerance of having two kids along on this trip. You were all fabulous "parents" for Becky and Bryan. I look forward to seeing you all again in China.
Chuck and Jo Hower
This was our fourth eclipse. Each one is beautiful, wondrous and different.
But when it comes to your emotional response each eclipse is like your first
one. We know what is going to happen. We anticipate it. But then in the
last seconds of strange, fading light, emotions take over from reason. My
god, what is happening. The light is so strange. The sun is going OUT!
Impossible. But it is---GONE. Nothing but a black hole. Beautiful,
magical, startling, a little scary. We are like children again, staggering
around with the wonder of it. And then all to soon it is over.
Our thanks to Dave, Meltem, Mustafa and the rest of the recon crew for
finding the site. It was perfect. Thanks to Meltem for the picnic
shopping. Thanks to the sun and moon for this chance to return to Turkey.
Meltem Ciftci Kurgan (our Turkish guide)
" It was my second Eclipse ,the first being in 99 in Turkey, Tokat, which was a very new thing for me.
This second time I was kind of more informed and I knew what I was expecting for.
Well, words are not enough to explain how I felt, although I was prepared for it. Besides all technical details of how it was happening, it was so wonderful, outstanding !
Our world, our universe is so beautiful, there are things we can not change ,it has been happening for ages ,and it will happen for ages again even if we will not be around. I felt one more time that this life on earth is so beautiful..
I was so happy that I could witness this miraculous event in my life time one more time .
Thanks to you all for giving me this opportunity to be with you.
It was so meaningful for me, I will never forget it."
A-top the hill
I saw a sight
That fills me still
A-top the hill
A diamond in Turkey's sky
Mere minutes and it went by
A-top the hill
I could only weep
With feeling so deep
A-top the hill
Robert joined me there
I have no one word to share
I saw it again, for the first time!
"Shadow bands" for the very first time!
An awesome experience! This is my first eclipse and hopefully not my last. I am very thankful to have participated in this trip. The eclipse brought tears to my eyes and nothing that can be put into words. Just incredible!
There are no words to describe this awesome experience and its intense emotional impact it had on me.
My first eclipse was an experience too profound to describe adequately. It was more emotional than physical. teh reaction of the local man with who we shared our binoculars could only be described as sheer rapture. We shared a bond, if only for a few moments
The scouting event the prior afternoon, really got the juices flowing, especially when we found "our place". I was especially happy that once again on Eclipse Day we awoke to clear, blue skies; the most important ingredient in making a successful eclipse, and one over which we have little control.
My sixth total solar eclipse was a different experience from the first five. This time I felt more calm and aware of my surroundings. The most notable environmental difference was the chilling effect of the oncoming shadow. This is the first time I actually felt cold prior to totality. Of course once we saw the first diamond ring, any thoughts of that quickly vanished.
I had purchased a new pair of Celestron 10x42 binocs especially to watch this eclipse and they provided a wonderfully clear view. But I found myself preferring to just watch with the naked eye. My peripheral vision gave me a better sense of both the wonder in the sky and the events happening around me.
One of the best parts is to hear the exclamations of glee from friends who, even though they may have witnessed eclipses before, just can’t seem to get enough "time in the shadow".
The video "interviews" after totality never cease to give me a lump in the throat as I hear people describing the impact it had on them. I’ve never seen a "first-timer" who wasn’t just blown away, and the "veterans" are equally excited. Tears come to the eyes of both.
Green grass, blue sky, orange "sunset" all around, ocean view, snow-covered mountains, great friends – it doesn’t get much better than that!Itinerary Trip Journal Eclipse Eclipse Impressions Organizers Maps