Eclipse! Used by Tintin to such good effect to escape the Incas. Eclipse! Terrifying my six-year-old who misunderstood warnings against looking at the sun during the event, and believed today our star would take on evil sight-destroying properties if so much as glimpsed.
This was the third I’ve seen. I missed one earlier in my life because I was at the cinema. But two others I saw, one from my parent’s garden in the 80s, the other a three-quarters solar disappearing act witnessed in the scruffy yard of my final year university digs. 10th May 1994, that must have been. Wikipedia’s a marvellous thing.
The thick cloud that makes Yorkshire grey, cold and wet 200 days of the year, proved a bonus today. Combining cloud with a pair of sunglasses you could quite comfortably observe the phenomenon. As my mate Chris Hoyle said on Facebook:
Look at that! What could better illustrate the majestic clockwork of our solar system and our intimate grasp of its mechanism? The elegance and precision with which we can predict these events is as spectacular as their beauty. Keep watching the skies, my friends!
I couldn’t say it better myself, so I won’t try.
I watched most of it upon the hill overlooking Mytholmroyd from the west. There were people stationed at three hundred yard intervals across the countryside, like something from a sinister Nigel Kneale TV drama, an effect heightened by the “eclipse wind” being especially pronounced here.
Here’s my inevitable picture, similar no doubt to many thousands more. I took lots. This one shot in my garden towards the end of the phenomenon, when the moon was moving away, is the best.