Tuesday, December 25, 2012
In the Path of Totality
The ship maneuvered into the best possible location and the weather was gorgeous and clear. Here are some of our friends gathered and waiting for the show to begin.
We had lunch with this couple one day--Tracy and Nick. They are big world travelers and very friendly.
The biggest fun while waiting for the eclipse was people-watching. We have a ton of photos of our fellow passengers!
During totality, the only visible part of the sun is its corona, the normally unseen outer atmosphere that shimmers in the darkness like a fiery ring. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon's apparent diameter is larger than the sun, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across the surface of the Earth and we were right there!
When the sun went away, the air got a lot cooler all of a sudden, too. It was quite an eerie and fascinating event! National Geographic: "Over time the phenomenon has been seen as both fascinating and terrifying, a signal of the displeasure of the gods, or an omen of bad things to come."
Many people call this a life-changing experience. I can't say that I felt that strongly, but it does make you think about your place in the universe and the interconnectedness of everything there is. I felt very small in the grand scheme of the world and in awe of the way the universe works. Can you imagine living in the days when no one knew the science behind an eclipse? They often thought the world was ending; people would kill themselves or "go crazy." I can understand why they might feel so terrified if they had no clue about what was happening.
A total eclipse occurs every one or two years, while total and partial eclipses together average about two and a half incidences per year. But because they are visible from such a small area on Earth each time, the chance of observing a total eclipse from any single spot is less than once in a lifetime. Supposedly only one in 10,000 people has witnessed such an awesome sight.
Click here for a little video from ABC News. In case you are intrigued, the next US total eclipse takes place on August 21, 2017, most visible in Christian County, Kentucky. See you there?