Annular Eclipse

posted May 20, 2012, 9:33 PM by Paul Wagner
P writes:
Since I am an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I drove up to a wide spot in the road between Red Bluff and Lassen so that I could watch the moon eat the sun...and have a little sun left over.  
There were a few other hardy souls who braved the 96 degree heat, some with telescopes, others with welding glasses.  I used a couple of solar filters from my telescope making days to cut down on the intense light. 
As the eclipse began, it looked like a lot of other eclipses I've seen.  But then the moon covered more and more of the sun...until a ring of sun slowly began to encircle the black ball of the moon.  And even then, with 95% of the sun obscured, it was still far to bright to look at with your naked eye.  The landscape around grew rather darker and shadowy.
And then the ring of light closed around the moon made a full circle...a perfect circle.  It held that shape for a few minutes, and then you could see the moon beginning to drift off center...and break through the ring of light.  The spheres of the universe slowly continued on their way.
And then it was over.  Handshakes and smiles all around, and then back in the car to drive home again.