Solar Eclipse
Tom Montemayor arrived on Aruba armed with a video camcorder, 2 still cameras and a bottle of duty-free vodka to document the eclipse. The video below is 18 seconds long; it shows the last 7 seconds of totality with the eclipsed sun surrounded by it's beautiful corona (as in the above photo), then the diamond ring as the first bit of sun reappears between mountains on the moon, then a disappearing corona as the sun continues to emerge and the sky brightens.
The video on the videos page is a 320 x 240 MPG, 18 seconds long.There is NO AUDIO.
On February 26th, 1998 the path of a total solar eclipse swept across the tiny island of Aruba, just off the coast of Venezuela. We experienced 3 minutes and 34 seconds of totality. The following images were taken through a 300mm lens of Fuji 400 film.
The Eclipse Begins! Photographed through a welders #14 filter, the moon begins to slowly cover our sun. About an hour before the eclipse began, Aruba was under thick cloud cover and rain. Incredibly, the sky abruptly cleared and the entire eclipse was visible under totally clear, blue skies.
About 5 minutes before totality, just a tiny sliver of the sun remains. Skies were beginning to darken at this point as orange sunset colors began to appear along the entire horizon.
A spectacular sight, a total eclipse of the sun! This marvel of nature is visible only because of an astounding coincidence - the sun is 400 times larger than the moon and is also 400 times farther away. This means they both appear the same size in the sky, allowing the moon to exactly cover the sun. The moon's shadow is approximately 120 miles in diameter as it moves across the earth at 2,000 m.p.h.
This photo was a 1/15 second exposure, taken WITHOUT any filters. At this point the sky was dark and the stars were out. The sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, can clearly be seen with streamers extending out about 2 solar diameters.
This 1/60th second exposure captures the sun's innermost corona. Through binoculars, several prominences (glowing hydrogen erupting off the coronosphere) could be seen.
The July 11th, 1991 total solar eclipse was experienced by more people than any other eclipse in history. The narrow shadow path passed over the big island of Hawaii, Baja California, Mazatlan and the most populous city in the world, Mexico City. Over 20 million people in Mexico City alone experienced darkness at high noon as the shadow passed over. After passing Mexico City, the shadow passed over the mysterious Mayan pyramids built to honor the god of the Sun. I journeyed to the southern tip of Baja California and experienced the eclipse under absolutely perfect conditions. My location experienced over 5 minutes and 30 seconds of totality.
The Eclipse Begins! Over an hour before totality, the moon begins covering the sun. Even though over a third of the sun is covered, it is not yet obvious that anything unusual is happening overhead. That will soon change.
Over 75% of the sun's diameter covered. At this point, very subtle changes are occuring; the sky color is changing - the blues are fading and being replaced with warmer orange colors. The temperature is begining to fall and birds are heading for their nests for the night (at noon).
The Miracle is about to begin! At this point, observers on the ground notice very rapid changes occurring around them. The sky is rapidly becoming darker, the stars are beginning to appear and a wind is springing up as the land cools but the ocean doesn't. We have 60 million years of evolution in us that says the sun is essential for life; even though we know what's happening, a real "end of the world" feeling prevails.
The Diamond Ring! Just a few seconds from totality, the corona is already starting to appear. The diamond ring is caused by sunlight shining between mountains on the edge of the moon and occurs seconds before and seconds after totality.
The cosmic event of a lifetime, a total eclipse of the sun! All daily activities come to a stop as everyone watches in awe.
This closeup shows a huge prominence (an erupting cloud of hydrogen) at the sun's 2:30 position. Two other large prominences are visible at 4:30 and 7:00. They were a spectacular sight through binoculars.
Highly recommended video!