July 27, 2009

Solar Eclipse.

There was a total solar eclipse last Wednesday almost all over the Asian continent. I am trying to picture what experiencing such an event must feel like.
I often wonder, whether it really becomes dark. And what kind of dark it is. Is it twilight, dusk or complete darkness. From some of the photographs that were published by the online news media, it seems that in some places, the city lights were turned on and to me it appeared like night and not mid morning.

I too often envision what it must have felt like in ancient times, when mankind was not aware of this natural phenomenon. This celestial show must have been considered to be a divine sign, foretelling the future or being an omen of some sorts, not always a good one. Linked to the mystical and heavily surrounded by superstition, the eclipse for the primitive man must have been a sight that supported a belief in the magical and unknown.

I have never been lucky enough to witness a total solar eclipse. There have been a few partial ones over Denmark over the years. Even though not as spectacular, as the ones leaving an imprint of a diamond ring on a film, they were still a sight out of this world. I did managed to capture a few good images during a partial eclipse which could be observed in Scandinavia in August last year.

Unfortunately, I live in the part of the world that very rarely sees a full solar eclipse. Next time one will occur here here will be on the 25th of May in 2142.
Somehow I seriously doubt that I will be around to experience it.


Tom said...

I was lucky enough to witness a near-total solar eclipse in the mid-90s while observing in South Africa. It was a complete coincidence but we happened to be there for an observing run at the SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory). I think the sun was about 90-95% eclipsed where we were.

All I can say is that it was very strange. It became noticeably darker and quieter. I think we'd got used to the insect and bird noises but they stopped. The best word to describe it is "surreal".

I have some pictures of the event although they're on film, but I must try and get them scanned and post about the event one day.

All I can say for now is that if you have a chance of witnessing a solar eclipse you *must* take the opportunity, it's rather special.

Renaissance said...

I's fascinating isn't it?

Julie Hibbard said...

You won't be around in 2142? Oh come on...We can be two little (very) old ladies out on a veranda somewhere--drinking wine--and taking in the eclipse!
I'll wait around if you will!

Sumandebray said...

I have witnessed a few of those eclipses. But you are right it is never as dark as night.
The photographer's delight is when the Sun starts to come back and that creates a phenomenon called a diamond ring. That is a magnificent view.
Other interesting that happens is to the birds and animals around. They get utterly confused with the situation and start acting funny

2142? You never know ... you might be around in this life or if you believe in Rebirth.

United Studies said...

I witnessed one many years ago as a kid and it is something you don't forget. :-)

Reading Tea Leaves said...

It must be very surreal to witness a total eclipse - I witnessed a partial eclipse many years ago and that was exciting enough - I remember everything just going really quiet. Very strange.

Rajesh said...

It was cloudy here in the morning 7 a.m. It was not dark here during the eclipse

Unknown said...

I remember going through an eclipse when I was younger, don't remember when though! great insight you have wondering what ancient times thought of it. they maybe thought it was the end as they know it.

Betsy Brock said...

I've only seen one total eclipse...they are so neat! I agree that the moon is mysterious and wonderful!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Truly the moon is mystical!!

In my work (mental health field) a full moon means a busy night or day at work!! People tend to get a bit "batty" when the moon is full!! ;)

Blogaire said...

The sun has been disappearing all Summer where I am Protege, it's a very well known phenomenon !!!

Diane said...

I guess taking a nap in the middle of the day doesn't count, does it? ;) It's a Diane eclipse, though!! :)

Tell your mom Happy Birthday (belated, though it is) from Pigsknuckle!! XOXO

Beep said...

I do wish I'd seen one in my lifetime :) I was hoping to get to that one in Turkey but my life is just one health or financial problem after another! I must be meant to be kept out of trouble while working on these things all the time! Who knows what I might have got up to in Turkey? ;)

Thanks so much for posting this; it is so interesting! I've always been completely fascinated by eclipses.

Claus said...

I've experienced a complete solar eclipse, and two partial ones. From my experience, I can tell you that when the total eclipse happened, it became night. It was around 1990, and I clearly remember our school closing for three days "just in case something out of the ordinary could happen :-)) Females - human and animal - were advised to wear something red, to divert the bad things, and prevent to become sterile. We were advised to stay indoors, and not to look directly at it, which I think not many followed. Mayan communities held special activities and ceremonies, because these sort of natural events DO mean something in their beliefs, especially in regards to change and new beginnings. Perhaps you have seen Apocalypto by Mel Gibson about Mayan culture? A total solar eclipse happens and the high priests take such happenings as omen. They are fascinating indeed.

steviewren said...

There have been a couple of partial eclipses here but I don't think we've ever had a total eclipse. I'm scarred by learning as a child that you can make yourself so blind if you look at it, so they freak me out a little.

Zuzana said...

to you, due to your profession, an eclipse must be very interesting from the scientific point of view. Thank you for sharing your experience in regards to the "feel" of one. I have too heard that animals do behave in an unusual way. It must have been an experience of a lifetime; I will try to get to experience one, if possible.;))

yes, it definitely is fascinating; anything of such kind is in nature.;) Thank you for stopping by.;)

sounds god to me.;)) Especially when you mention wine, I might try to make it.;)) A
Great comment as always.;)) xo

again, I really envy anyone who had experienced this phenomenon. It must be fascinated on so many levels, including the effect it has on animals.
I like your take on the possibility of me being around for the next "Scandinavian" one;))

I do understand that. Even seeing the partial one makes an impression. Thank you for your lovely comment.;) xo

yes, that is how everything becomes, quiet. I too witnessed only partial ones and even if they only slightly effected the daylight, they still left me in awe.

that is right, you must have seen it. To bad it was cloudy; thanks for sharing your experience.;))

yes, I often wonder how some of the natural phenomena must have been perceived in ancient times.;)) How interesting that you have experienced one.;) Thank you for your lovely comment.;)

yes, the lunar eclipses are more frequent.;) We have them quite often here too and I love to watch them.;)) A I agree on the magic and mystery of the moon.;))

yes, I do believe that the moon and he sun do effect us.;)) I know too that my mood is effected by full moon. I have been told that it is not good to sleep in the light of the full moon, but I do it all the time.;)

yes, I think I know which phenomenon you speak of; I have experienced it here as well!;) Hehe, great comment.;)) Thanks for stopping by.;))

thank you for the best wishes to my mom!;))
I would love to see the eclipse you speak off.:)) Your comments always make me laugh, my friend.;))xo

I am sorry that those circumstances have kept you away from seeing a solar eclipse. I hope you will get a chance to see another one one day.;))
Thank you so much for stopping by.;)) xo

that was a wonderful read; I loved hearing about the fact that in your culture the eclipse was viewed with that much superstition.
I have never seen the Gibson movie, now I definitely will try to get a copy.
Thank you for this incredibly interesting comment.;) xo

yes, partial ones we have had a few as well.;)
It is actually true, you are not allowed to look directly at the sun and it can harm your eyes. You have to look through specially tinted sheets. The pictures here were taken through an overexposed x-ray film.;)) So, you are right in being freaked out a little.;)

Hilary said...

In 1993 my older son was 6 and during his school hours, I had permission to take him out of class to look at its progress through a pinhole box that we made for the occasion. It was a partial eclipse and it became hazy gray outside. But like others have mentioned.. it was the quiet that was most noticeable.

I too wonder about ancient times and what damage it did to their eyes after watching...

Keera Ann Fox said...

I experienced a total eclipse here in Norway in 1999 or 98 or something. When the sun was blocked out, it was a darkness that really isn't like any other. It most resembles standing on the shady side of a building during a sunny day, except it's shades of gray everywhere. It also got noticeably cooler and, as Tom mentions, the birds and insects became quiet and did not fly around. The moment some sunshine came back, so did birds chirping and flies flying.

Zuzana said...

thank you for sharing your experience, that is so very similar to others who have had the privilege of seeing a solar eclipse.;))
Always love when you stop by.;))

to bad - that was the one in a life time total eclipse that I could have experienced, would I have been back in Europe.
It is indeed interesting to watch the animals reacting to this phenomenon - I guess that is what makes it a bit eerie.;)

Maria said...

For me, the eclipse meant that my children went to school an hour later, and all I really noticed was shadows playing across our garden in the early morning light, I misguidedly looked straight into the sun and nearly blinded myself. Regarding earlier posts, I too love candlelight but the only thing is I sometimes have to cook food by it as we get a lot of powercuts over here. It is so nice to have a visit with your parents, I hope they have a wonderful time!

Zuzana said...

thank you so much for sharing your experience with the eclipse. I hope one day to get the privilege of seeing one.;))
I am having a lovely time with my parents, I hope your Friday and weekend will be wonderful.;)) Always love when you visit.;)