Eclipse 98

1998 Feb 26

Just a brief post to let you know I had a very enjoyable and successful eclipse trip. I participated in an observing team lead by Andres Valencia and Arnaldo Arnal from the Observatorio Arval in Caracas. Our other team members were Ivan, a geo- logist from Caracas who videographed 10 seconds of every minute of the eclipse plus got real time for about six minutes around central eclipse time. The other was Angel, a meteorologist who took about six measurements every five minutes during the eclipse. While the other members manned their telescopes and cameras, I videotaped and used a digital camera to document the expedition, surroundings, and people. The eclipse itself was excellent and so filled my brain with endorphins that I floated around the rest of the afternoon in the highest of spirits.

Last night, I got to watch the Moon play Pac Man with Aldebaran (eclipsing a more distant sun). From Jacksonville, FL, the occultation was a bulls-eye of the bull's eye. It seemed to disappear behind the fattest part of the Moon. Unfortunately, I missed the disappearance while trying to adjust a video camera to record the event (should have set up five minutes earlier!). I was recording during the emergence but the bright limb of the Moon caused the auto-iris to stop down and Aldebaran was not visible on the video until several seconds after it was visible visually through the scopes. It was a very pleasing event, though, and real-time astronomy is hard to beat.

Roger Curry 1998 Mar 5