Planning to see another total solar eclipse
By bnitz on Jan 25, 2006
On February 26, 1979, when my wife was a little girl, her grandmother took her on a Green Bay astronomy club expedition to see a total solar eclipse in Manitoba. I'd seen many partial eclipses and lunar eclipses since 1979, but I had never seen a total solar eclipse. None would touch the continental U.S. or nearby parts of Canada between 1979 and 2017. So when my wife saw that a total eclipse would touch the Carribean island of Antigua on February 26, 1998... she talked me into escaping Wisconsin winter for a few days. I'm glad I went because the difference between a total eclipse and a partial eclipse is at least as significant as the difference between night and day. Here is a scan of one of the slides. The volcano on the nearby island of Montserrat was smouldering. The moon's shadow moved quickly across the water between Montserrat and Antigua. In the blink of an eye, the light changed from an eerie yellow dull-sunlit day into the blueish glow of a moonlit winter night. The horizon glowed the color of Sunset in all directions and the bright planets mercury and jupiter stood on either side of the sun and venus shone closer to the horizon. These planets along with the eye-like Sun, stars and volcano made it seem as though we were on another planet. The crowd cheered and when the first rays of the Sun reemerged... the "diamond ring", I asked her to marry me. We were on our honeymoon in Germany during its last total eclipse, but the rain and clouds prevented us from seeing the spectacular sight we saw from Shirley Heights, Antigua. We hope to have clear skies for our trip to see the March 29th 2006 total solar eclipse. We will arrange it such that if the eclipse is clouded out, at least we will enjoy a vacation in an interesting (and warmer) part of the world.