Mel reports from China on the Total Solar Eclipse of July 22

July 23, 2009

Miracle of Astronomical Proportion!

Eclipse Image-small
It was cloudy as we set out at 5:30am towards Huangzhou Agricultural Farm, China to view the eclipse. Approaching the Farm it started to rain and once we were inside the Farm, distant rumbles of thunder heralded the coming storm.

First contact came and went and it was not looking promising, when a lighter area of sky appeared and with 5 minutes to go before totality, the clouds parted enough to allow the Sun to shine through.

The approach of totality brought the noticeable and unusual change in the colour of the light – it is a golden hue and the temperature started to drop. Would the clouds stay away long enough? Luck, fate or divine intervention (or all three) were on our side and we saw 5 minutes 51 seconds of totality. It was the longest eclipse I had witnessed and my fourth so far. However, the awe-inspiring sight of totality never diminishes no matter how many eclipses you see. It was all over far too soon and about 10 minutes after the end of totality, in came the clouds again. We were so very lucky to be given a small but perfectly timed window to view the eclipse. Not long after the clouds rolled in, back came the rain.

All participants were jubilant, some with tears still glistening in their eyes long after the clouds rolled in and all agreed the cloud surrounding the Sun gave an interesting and rather unique eclipse experience.

I’m looking forward to the eclipse next year on Easter Island. At almost 5 minutes in duration, it is one I don’t want to miss!

Obs Staff at Eclipse
From left to right, Mel, Les, Naomi, Col and Jane all of whom are team members at Sydney observatory.

Patricia enjoys the eclipse
Patricia enjoying the view.

And for those that missed this eclipse, don’t forget Sydney Observatory will conduct a once in a lifetime tour to Easter Island in 2010 to see the next Total Solar eclipse.

For details visit our website or contact us on +61 2 9921 3485

Share

4 responses to “Mel reports from China on the Total Solar Eclipse of July 22

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *