|Illinois fifth-graders observe 1963 eclipse with pinhole projectors (NatGeo photo)|
Eclipse was expected to start at 9 AM local time, reach maximum some time after 10, and return to normal around 11.
In the tradition of legions of legendary Moslem astronomers, I assumed the guise of Doctor Jabir and rigged up a simple solar projector in the parking lot of the Boulder Creek Post Office. When I got there, a guy named Gene from Bear Creek Road had already set up a powerful filtered telescope on Main Street in front of Liberty Bank. I recognized Gene and his telescope from previous eclipses and remembered viewing, through his instrument, images of the partially eclipsed Sun so large that you could count its sunspots.
|Gene's eclipse-viewing telescope|
|Doctor Jabir and his godson, Alex DeCaro, wait for the clouds to clear|
|From right to left: Jerry, Jabir, Judy, Sheila and two unknowns|
|Cloud-filtered eclipse near maximum: Ahlgren Vineyard iPhone|
Many local viewers gathered at Crest Ranch on Empire Grade which was above the fog belt and were rewarded with a full-spectrum solar eclipse experience viewable only through dense sunglasses -- which were provided by local libraries and some hardware stores.
Meanwhile, some of our Boulder Creek friends, notably Allan and Sun Lundell (aka Doctor and Mrs. Future) traveled to the Symbiosis festival in central Oregon where they joined 70,000 other eclipse pilgrims to observe the Sun's temporary demise.
|Symbiosis Festival, Big Summit Prairie, Oregon|
|"Diamond Ring" eclipse: Allan & Sun Lundell, Symbiosis, Oregon|
National Geographic magazine also got into the act by publishing on the web a series of 24 historic pictures from their files that featured various past eclipses, including the famous solar eclipse that made Albert Einstein a celebrity, during which Arthur Eddington was able to verify the deflection of starlight by the Sun that Einstein had predicted in his General Theory of Relativity. The picture of school kids wearing pin-hole boxes that heads this post was taken from that Nat Geo collection.
But, among all the eclipse pictures, some taken by scientists, some by satellite and some by enthusiastic amateurs, my vote for favorite eclipse photo is for a snapshot made by a couple in Santa Rosa, CA, that used a household implement found in almost every kitchen.
|2012 Eclipse through a colander: David & Cynthia Janson, Santa Rosa, CA|