Observing the eclipse

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Second contact

The last minutes before totaly began.



Still a filter is necessary.

Everybody is ready for totality.
The shadows of things became very sharp as further the moon covered the sun.


This view from the roof shows nearly the positon of my second camera (Hi8). It was directed (a bit higher) to the direction where the moonshadow came from.
It's a bit more work to get good pictures from this camera into the computer. I will do this later.
Filming the approaching shadow failed, because of wrong exposure. But impressive is to see the increasing brightness after the third contact and my activities during totality.

Christian in position.


Arndt and Michael dancing, five minutes before totality (14:05)
How dark was it?
I tried to get an answer of this question before my flight, to have an optimal preparation at home. Actually nobody could give me a real good description. The pictures above do not show the real light, because the videocamera simply opens the shutter when it gets darker.
I say: Imagine you weat sunglasses and can't take them off. This was my impression in the minutes before totality.
The next pictures show nearly the difference between normal light and real light before (!) totality.


Normal light
(actually taken shortly before totality). On the upper left you see the second camera.
51real06.jpg (6702 Byte)
Real light impression
(taken with shifted exposure)

  52so06.jpg (3560 Byte)
Four minutes to go and I could take this picture
already without filter. In the reflected images you see
the very thin sun crescent.


And then it began: people were talking more nervousely,
inbetween shouting (freely translated from german into english):
"One minute fourty!"
"Look there!" - "Oh, that's cool!
"One minute!"
"The shadow is coming!" - "Shadow bench!"
(Listen to the original sound in a later version of this page,
when I learned about Shockwave audio)


Many things happened now: The horizon became darker, on the ground we could see "flying shadows", a kind of flimmering, like projecting hot air of a candle on a wall. But now the whole ground was covered with this! This might be a projection of the air turbulences with help of the extremely small sun crescent.

See totality on the next page...