Observing the Longest Solar Eclipse of the Century

Yesterday, July 22nd, we were able to observe a near total solar eclipse from Taiwan (it was a total solar eclipse when observed from southern China, but Taiwan lies that much further south that it was only a partial solar eclipse here). This will be the longest solar eclipse of the century, so needless to say we prepared to make this a perfect homeschooling opportunity.

We couldn't get our hands on the special shades needed to observe the eclipse, so instead we used the pinhole cameras the boys had made some time back. But the urge to glance upwards was almost irresistible, despite warnings this could lead to serious eye damage - so when a patch of dark clouds passed in front of the eclipse I snapped some shots.

In truth it is easy to think this is only the moon during the day. But the light was otherworldly and as we watched day turned to pitch darkness on the news in some places in southern China, you become aware of the awesome power and light that radiates from even a sliver of sun - because even during the partial eclipse here that left a sliver of sun, it was still bright enough to seem like 'merely' early morning. Follow this link to see some amazing photos of the event shot by other photographers in different parts of Asia where the eclipse could be seen. I especially like the tenth image - now why didn't we think of that! :)

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