I still remember the total solar eclipse of 1980. It was February and the city in the beautiful hill town of Ranchi, India came to a standstill. All schools and offices were shut down by a local government decree. There was no amazon or internet those days. The newspapers came only the next day, TV had yet to make its entry in this sleepy town and radio was the source of live information. We had the luxury of having X-ray films at home as those days they were not digital and the films became the medium to look at the solar eclipse! The ring and the total darkness was unbelievable and spooky.
A man feels lucky, if such rare phenomenon can be witnessed again in one lifetime. I had the opportunity to witness it again, though I remained stuck in the past. I just forgot, there was something called a path and earth was actually round. I was all ready from this obscure town of Oxford, in New Jersey to watch and photograph this celestial phenomenon. I used mylar sheets to make a cover for my SLR camera and a pin hole
camera to view it live. The reduction of sun started and I started to soak it in. However, it never became dark and NASA, C-Span and other sites kept talking of so many related things that just became annoying.
It was 2.45PM already, finally dawned on me, I will not be able to see the full eclipse from this region, I was no way near the path.
I guess, I was lucky the first time. It was nice the share the fond memories of the first time with dad and share the picture from the 2017 eclipse. Time flies and I felt blessed, I could share the joy and disappointment with the person who showed me and my little brother the solar eclipse for the first time.
Life is full of anecdotes. My son drove to Oregon to watch this phenomenon. I felt proud on his initiative and zeal to witness this eclipse. Needless to say, he could never pick my phone to exchange notes on the eclipse as despite all the arrangements, the unusually high traffic in Oregon made all the cell towers chocked. However, he was caring enough to share his recording of the solar eclipse from Oregon…a picture mile long traffic with his friends along the road waiting for the traffic to inch forward! I was left to appreciate the still images from the news channels on the 2017.
Aug 21, 2017 @ green bytes farm. Solar Eclipse as seen from the farm (SLR) and through pin hole camera. Also, picture courtesy my son – of eclipse watchers from somewhere in Oregon.