Eclipse 98

1998 Feb 26

The day started overcast and chances were dim of observing anything. TV channels stared broadcasting from the high volcanoes over the cloud layers and at least we were able to see first contact at around 9:55 am local time (UT -6) on the TV sets.

Despite the grim chances, I set up my telescope and camera, using Sunscreen Mylar filter over the primary and Kodak Pro 400 and Kodak Gold 100 as my films. Thank God I did.

At around 11:00 am LT clouds started to open and I was able to take my first shots when coverage was about 40 to 50%.

Lucky us, by maximum coverage (84% at 11:32 am LT) the sky opened completely and I was able to take some more shots, both with and without red filtering. I also captured some nice shots of miriads of crescents on my patio floor and some close-ups of a projection of the sun in my kitchen wall made by projecting the image of a regular mirror through a hole. The mirror was situated about 30 feet from the wall, so I got a fairly decent size and sharp image of the Sun, about 15 cm of diameter. I also shot a pretty arrangement of six Sun images projected over the same wall, made with a sheet of carton with six 2 mm holes.

I will let you all know how my photographs come out of the photo lab.

Ambient temperature started to drop steadily from 25 C to about 21 C at 11:50 am, when the eclipse was 20 minutes past maximum. Some funny effects were noticeable on some animals. Pigeons went to their huts to sleep and our geese beacme odly wild, running all over. No effects were noted on chicken or dogs, in oposition to the 1991 eclipse where mostly all the animals became disoriented.

I could not get any web-cast on the Internet. I tried ARVAL's, the Japanese and some of the URL's listed in the Sunmill index but to no avail. Most sites returned a 'web site not able to answer' or something like that. I assume these URL's became saturated by all of us trying to get a peek at totality in Venezuela or the Caribbean. Did anybody had any success? How about you Paul Goelz? At least David Teoh did, from what I can read of his posting.

Carlos Hernandez
Heredia, Costa Rica

Carlos Hernandez; 1998 Mar 2