Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our annular eclipse event...

..was an informal affair. But it was special. It was awesome. It was so.. annular! And it hasn't been done since 1994... won't be seen again in our region of the world until the year 2023.

Pretty glaring, isn't it?! I like the reflected extra images surrounding the Sun..

Briefly, this is what was going on cosmically: May 20th we experienced what's called an annular solar eclipse -from the Latin 'annulus' which means 'little ring'.

In parts of East Asia, and through a path in the western United states, the moon lined up between Earth & the sun, blocking about 94% of El Sol's light and leaving a spectacular ring of fire shining in the sky.

We happened to be directly in that path!

I was house-sitting for Jim & Rhonda while they were away sight-seeing and attending a wedding back on the East Coast. And although traveling back East sounds neato-keeno, since I was still recovering from the concussion, I much preferred just hanging out in the quiet of their yard and observing this rare solar experience with a few of my favorite people; Papa, Ben & Eli-o =)

They came over late Sunday afternoon just before the start of the eclipse. Ben had brought along some welding glasses hoping they'd be able to cut the glare good enough for us to watch the moon cross between the earth and the sun. If they could filter the rays we'd be able to see a ring of sunlight around the black silhouette of the moon.

Dang! Nope, not quite enough. The glare was still too strong for me. Then, from out of nowhere came a glimmer of remembrance from waaaay back to some vague memory (my elementary school years, maybe?) for a way to see this eclipse. I ran in the house and cut a piece of cardboard from the back of my cereal box, punched a small hole in it with a ball point pen, grabbed a pad of paper off Jim's desk and hurried back out to the lawn.

This is what we saw...

So cool! We kept snapping pictures; playing with the size by moving the cardboard pin hole back and forth, bringing it in and out, first closer and then farther away from the notepad to see the effect...

...and playing with different paper to project the image onto..

...discovering that making a fist and letting a little light shine through worked too!

...and generally, just having a fun time playing with the shadows..

Eli was soaking up shade & solar eclipse rays when Ben turned around and noticed that...

...something amazing was happening all around his little brother.. this was awesome! The shadow of the eclipse could be seen projected through the cottonwood tree leaves onto the grass!!

...and onto the side of the house!!

By this point the moon was directly in the center of the sun giving us this image:

According to Eli I was pretty darn excited ...

And yes, I truly was! and can't wait til the next big sky happening!

Grand Finale...a few short bonus video clips:


Eli Photo-journaling w/Unsolicited Comments From the Peanut Gallery

'Whoa Dude'

Liquid Art ~ 'On The Wall'


  1. WHOA! Whoa Dude! So cool you remembered the pin prick thing! I had totally forgotten about that :) and how awesome that the tree's were doing it for you towards the end there :) I loved the 'excited mama' picture! I laughed and laughed and laughed :) The videos made me miss you all. I wish we could come work at the park for the summers and then do school/work out here during the winter!

    1. ..glad we could provide some comic relief for you :D

      I love your idea of here for the summers and home to Hawaii the rest of the year...if only! (heck, you guys did it when you were in school in Utah, maybe it COULD work out for the future!! We'd LOVE that!)