There was a total solar eclipse yesterday. These things happen on a fairly regular basis, but this one was important because it was visible from the USA, so we all had to take a whole lot more notice of it than we did of the one in Indonesia last year, or the one in the Faroe Islands in 2015.

But for the rest of the world, the day (or night) went on as normal. So, I’ve collected together the best bits of eclipse ephemera so that you don’t feel that you have missed out.

Most exaggerated emotional response (written):

I was lucky enough to experience a total solar eclipse in the Britain in 1999. It’s a weird experience, sure, but it’s brief and it’s not something that I really dwelled upon after the event. So I think this description by Dr Francisco Diego of University College London is a bit lah-di-dah:

It steals your soul and it happens in complete silence.

Apart from whooping Americans. Lots of them.

Best photo

This much-shared image from NASA, featuring eclipse, sunspots and the ISS in transit.

Worst photo

Lots of competition for this one, but this cellphone pic from Trisha O’Farrell in Oregon is really appalling.
I’m not being rude; I’m being honest. I mean, she must know, right?

Most interesting phenomenon

We all knew what was going to happen. It was going to go dark for a couple of minutes and then it was going to get light again, so we’re actually after secondary phenomena here. This image of traffic congestion from Google Maps, perfectly matching the path of totality across the Southern US states, hits the spot:


Least interesting phenomenon:

Unaffected goats.


Best live reaction from a broom cupboard somewhere in a South American embassy in London:

Which is almost the same as this (satirical) article from last week. But real.

Next total solar eclipse

July 2nd, 2019 19:24:08 – visible across central Chile and Argentina.

Next total solar eclipses visible from South Africa

November 25th, 2030 06:51:37
August 2nd, 2046 10:21:13
July 24, 2055 09:57:50

See you there.


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