Sunday, May 20, 2012

Annular Eclipse in Albuquerque - 5/20/12

The Ring of Power
Are we not men?

The title and photos above should make obvious to anyone that we were able, for the first time in my lifetime, to view something approximating a total eclipse of the sun this evening in Albuquerque.  It wasn't, properly speaking, a "total eclipse," inasmuch as the moon did not obscure the entire circumference of the sun; rather, it was an "annular" eclipse that produced a "ring of fire" during the few minutes in which the moon was directly in front of the sun.  We watched it at Mike and Judy's house, where Dorine's brother Don set up his telescope on the second-story deck.  (My son-in-law Sam took the "ring" photo above through the telescope with his iPhone.)  Dorine had obtained a couple of pairs of "eclipse glasses" from someone at work, and I'm wearing one of them in the "Devo" pose above.

It was just a little other-worldly to have the sun appear to dim, and for the temperature to drop noticeably, an hour or more before nightfall.  The last time I had a similar sensation was last summer, when smoke from multiple forest fires in Arizona blew in to Albuquerque and, on a couple of cloudy days that I remember, lent an eerie yellow cast to the sky.

Looking through Don's telescope
At Mike and Judy's House

On another planet last summer
The smoke last summer