It’s been 9 years, 3 months and 19 days since I landed in Tokyo, a little bleary-eyed but eager to see what the Land of the Rising Sun would hold for me. The plan was to stay here a couple of years and then go back to England and start a career in my real […]
Posts Tagged ‘total eclipse’
Solar eclipse has just passed the Ryukyu islands and it was a pretty good event. The students were let out of classes for 30 minutes so they could damage their eyesight permanently at will, and some of the teachers had made viewing devices or bought the special glasses. Me, being the cheapskate, opted for 2 pieces of cardboard in front of one another, the first one having a tiny hole in, to make a pinhole camera to see it through.
By 1040 the air had got noticeably cooler although it was still pretty light outside. In fact, that was one of the surprising things during the whole eclipse – despite having over 90% coverage, it was still obviously daylight outside. Kind of makes you think maybe you don’t need that much sun!
Students soon came out to join the teachers which cued cries of “suuuugoooiiiiiii!!!” (“Wow” in Japanese), especially when some dark cloud passed overhead and allowed everyone to see it. As 1055 approached you noticed the birds quieten down as if they were ready for the end of the day and dusk approaching. My cardboard viewing contraption was providing possibly the smallest image of the eclipse that anyone has witnessed, but I could see something at least.
At 1055 something pretty cool happened that, as an eclipse virgin, I didn’t know about. A complete rainbow around the sun (about 6″ away) appeared in quite vivid colours. Not sure what caused it but it’s something I might research a little later on this afternoon. More cries of joy and screams were heard from students and then the sun & moon continued on their merry way and things began to get brighter again.
I have also managed to take a completely abysmal shot of the eclipse with my camera phone! The only thing worth noting on it is the rainbow that you can make out around the sun, but I include it for completion.
So that’s it for the 2009 eclipse. Head on back in 2132 when I’ll be covering the next one that’s this big!
Seven days to go now until the longest solar eclipse that will take place this century, and I’m not too far from the ideal spot to view it. This event was just brought back to my attention today by much excitement in the staffroom when a long cardboard box was proudly placed onto the table just behind me. My first thought was that it was the first periscope the school had made so that teachers can catch students smoking even when stood behind a corner. But there seemed far too much excitement for that. Soon dawned on me with other small variants of this bigger design that I was mistaken.
A little research on this eclipse brought me to the Nasa July 22nd solar eclipse website at http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEmono/TSE2009/TSE2009.html. Lots of good information although I have to say the “Detailed Maps of the Path of Totality” does sound a little final! Sounds like we’re reparing for the sun not to reappear again once it’s gone behind the moon. While the Okinawan mainland is going to be just south of the area experiencing a total solar eclipse, we should still get a good 85-90% of it according to the maps. This is providing that it’s not cloudy, which could rain on everyone’s eclipse parade (pun intended).
I’ll be making some sort of sun viewing device using a complex system of mirrors and pulleys (or more realistically, a couple of pieces of cardboard with a hole in the middle). Will also give a report next Tuesday once the eclipse has passed over, hopefully with a few pictures and comments from other people too.