Complaining to a colleague about having missed the lunar eclipse of
4th May 2004 due to heavy cloud cover, I heard he had seen the
solar eclipse of 1999, which I'd also missed through heavy cloud cover
and stupidly having travelled to the country where this cloud cover
was a problem; I should have stayed in Belgium. It seems everyone saw
the eclipse except me. The story of my failed expedition can be found
here. Below are the photos that came closest
to showing an eclipse in progress:
Take two: 6th May 2003 saw a new eclipse in the Netherlands. A
partial eclipse, but still. The sun would rise with a moon blocking its
top, making it the lying crescent of a cow's horns (hence, a "horned" sun)
and as their paths diverged, become a vertical crescent, the morning sky
darkening as more of it was obscured, and then free itself altogether. So
I took a day off from work and got up very early to stand in the wet grass
with a cheap digital camera seeing what I could get. A problem being that
the camera lens was far more sensitive to light than I was, so that the
photos were very different from what I saw.
This first announcement of sunrise my eyes may not even have caught, as the rising sun presented itself to me from the first moment as a lying red crescent.
More like what I saw, but bright and white instead of thin and red.
By now the crescent was righting itself and turning white. The photograph shows it as almost circular.
And now it is a circle, although to my eyes it was still a crescent.
Even the pictures taken through the eclipse sunglasses showed it as almost round.
Still a circle, although I clearly saw a crescent...
I would have erased the photos as useless if I hadn't seen this small shadow beginning to form.
Yes! A partial eclipse as seen through the camera.
In fact, the camera was fooled into thinking it was a complete eclipse. Who was it that said "the camera never lies"?