March 20, 2015
Today we had a spring equinox total eclipse in the polar region. Just an amazing sight, hard to describe it. For an hour the moon slowly moved over the sun during the partial phase. You could tell when totality was near, the light level dropped and we saw shadow bands on the flat snow. The bands are caused by atmospheric disturbances and are similar to the waves of light at the bottom of a pool. There is “second contact” when the moon is almost covering the sun and you see a bright flare at the side of the sun. Then it was total. It was a surreal sight, like seeing a black sun surrounded by darkness. I was surprised how dark it got, like a dim twilight. I couldn’t see the camera settings at first and it stayed in this darkness for over 2 minutes. People cheered, but most seemed in awe of the sight. The man next to me said he could see how ancient people could be completely frightened by the sight. Weather was perfect, bright, sunny, no clouds. But very cold. -17 C in the morning, which is 1.4 deg F. I think it didn’t get much warmer even around noon. Hope I can see another one. (Click on photos to enlarge).