Thursday, May 24, 2012

annular solar eclipse

I posted recently about the upcoming astronomical events visible in North America. The super-moon earlier this month was gorgeous, although I heard that clouds blocked the view in a lot of the country. But the big event for May was the Annular Solar Eclipse on May 20.

I was supposed to be driving to Wyoming on that Sunday evening, to start a new job on a ranch (more on that later), but decided to detour through Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was right in the path of the eclipse. It added four hours and a few hundred miles to the journey, but the end result was a view that couldn't be beat.

My dad was traveling with me, and we decided to go up to the top of Sandia Peak, 10,000 feet above sea level, to watch the setting sun as it was eclipsed by the moon. A few hundred people joined us, and it was a small (very nerdy) party on the mountain top.

looking up at the sky

the show starts. the complete eclipse will be several hours, but we're all just waiting for the four minutes in the middle

getting closer, the moon now looks like an upside-down crescent moon

totality. stunning. the crowd literally went wild... or as wild as a bunch of astronomy nerds can get.

the sun started getting closer to the horizon, so it was bigger and redder, even through the eclipse glasses.

the sun started to sink below the horizon, still in the middle of the eclipse, and the show was over as the temperature dropped on the mountainside.

I'm currently on a ranch outside of Dubois, Wyoming, where I'll be working the summer (and maybe riding a bit!). Next up: road trip to Wyoming, and then a post about the ranch itself... with horses!


Kel said...

The "Full" one looks like inspiration for JRRT!

Lisa Stone said...

Michelle, thanks for the email -- I'm so happy to follow your blog! Have a great summer and I look forward to reconnecting when you return.

Michelle said...

Kel, absolutely! It looks like something out of a fantasy novel for sure.

Lisa, thank you so much! Yes, I'll get in touch with you when I'm heading back to Palo Alto.