Partial Solar Eclipse, May 20We happened to be close to the track of the May 20 annular solar eclipse. The San Francisco Bay Area wasn't directly under the eclipse track, so we saw a partial eclipse--at it's peak, about 90% of the sun's surface was covered.
Overlapping leaves on a tree created thousands of tiny "pinhole cameras" projecting images of the crescent sun on the side of a car.
Contrary to the blithering of TV news reporters and the online ignorati, this was not a "total eclipse of the sun." A total eclipse is one in which the moon completely obscures the sun. For this month's eclipse, the moon was at apogee, the farthest point in its elliptical orbit, so appeared slightly smaller than normal when seen from the earth. If you were on the earth's surface directly under the eclipse track, the best you would see is an annular eclipse, in which the smaller appearing moon can't completely block the sun.
While it's fun to witness, an annular eclipse is just not as impressive to me as a total eclipse. We witnessed a total eclipse in Montana in 1979, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience well worth traveling to see. But as close as we were to this month's eclipse track, I wasn't motivated to travel a couple hundred miles to see the annular phase. When it comes to covering the sun, there's a huge difference between 99% and 100%.
from www.eclipser.ca (http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~jander/ase2012/ase12intro.htm)
Posted by Dan 05/23/2012, revised 06/05/2012 by Dan
Day Trip to Moorea
Stopover in Tahiti
Exploring New Zealand's Northland
2012 Triathlon World Championships
Travails with Tom-Tom
Off to New Zealand!
Cycling on the Oregon Coast
Partial Solar Eclipse, May 20
Wildflower Triathlon a family affair
Truth in Packaging?
Nik Graduates from Cal Poly
Cal Poly's Open House Weekend
2009 Triathlon World Championships
Sightseeing around the Gold Coast
South Bank: Brisbane's Fine Arts center
Catching up . . .
Summa Cum Laude, Baby!
Kim completes her first Half-Ironman
Kim Visits Home for Wildflower Triathlon
The Last Supper
Whitney Plays Final Soccer Game
Watch the Women's World Cup!
Kim Blazes Chicago Triathlon
Nik Bicycles Pacific Coast
Whitney Begins Final Season
More Triathlons for Kim
Corvallis gets snow!
Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week
Whitney's new cat
Kim in Chicago Triathlon
Rare family get-together
Whitney Signs National Letter-of-Intent
ODP cancels European tour
Whitney renamed to Regional Team
Kim graduates from Willamette
Whitney Stars in High School Soccer
Nik graduates from UTI
2001 - A Year for Remembrance
Kim returns from Europe
2000: A Year for Traveling
Kim Travels Europe