Eclipse 98

1998 Feb 26

Greetings from Aruba.

Arriving at the eclipse viewing site at 6am we were greeted to low overcast and rain!!! We knew something was up because the lizards were scampering about and hiding. Skies parted to a beautiful blue at 9:00am but quickly clouded over and started raining -- again!! In a quandary about what to do, we elected to stay on our ridge-top at the extreme south end of the island. If it was going to clear, it would clear here first. And that it did, just about 45 minutes before totality. Time enough to prep telescopes and focus cameras.

We witnessed a beautiful diamond ring and solar corona with many polar streamers and red promieneces that lasted nearly 3 minutes and 40 seconds -- maximum eclipse for Aruba, just 9 seconds short of the off-shore maximum. Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury were prominent objects in a slate-blue-gray sky. Pail orange colors were pronounced along the horizon.

Shot a number of images with the Astro Physics 104mm f/6 Traveler. View through the camera was very detailed -- love this telescope.

Many cruise ships were chasing the centerline. The big Carnival "Fascination" shot by at what looked like 50 knots!

Absolutely perfect experience. And to think that I almost didn't come?

Aruba is still a funky island but has the most beautiful white beaches I've seen anywhere. Food is great! People are great!

Now that I've been eclipsed three times, it's time to plan for August 1999!

See you in Istanbul!!

John Gleason 1998 Mar 2