looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage


We had a partial solar eclipse here this afternoon. I knew about it in advance thanks to Sky And Telescope Magazine's website, but then I forgot about it. When I went outside at about 4:00pm and noticed the quality of light I commented to myself about how mild and clear the air felt.

Then I was putting some trash in the bin in the garage and noticed the dots of sunlight streaming through gaps and pinholes around the garage door, forming little circles with bites out of them... and then I remembered.

During a partial eclipse, the Sun is still bright and eye-damaging as ever, but the sunlight is less intense. The shadows are sharper and the light seems kind of golden-tinged. It really is quite special. And anywhere that sunlight shines through a small enough hole to land on a flat surface, you see a little image of the Sun missing a portion covered by the Moon - literally the Moon's shadow.

I tried using a makeshift pinhole viewer, but I found the best results were obtained by holding a pair of binoculars up, pointed at the Sun, with a sheet of cardboard held behind the eyepieces to catch the image.