Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar eclipse

We had an early morning start today. Our part of Japan has been readying itself for viewing the solar eclipse that was visible around 7:30 am. The stores have been selling little plastic glasses/filters, the schools requested that the children be on the grounds by 7:15 am. But was it going to be a clear day? We've been having a lot of rain and the sky has been cloudy. I didn't buy the plastic filter figuring that $5 for an uncertain three minutes of solar eclipse was extravagant. (if I had had kids at home I probably would have...)

I had to be at the crosswalk this morning by 6:45 and so there I stood in the bright morning sunlight. By 7:00 the principal joined me and he was very excited about the eclipse and kept peering through his plastic filter. He let me have a glance and... AMAZING! What I perceived as a normal morning sun, through the filter was a partially eclipsed orb! But I was on duty... no time to look at the sun and I couldn't be carrying a camera. Too bad. I was probably going to miss this eclipse. But by 7:15, everyone was at school and so I came home to NOT watch the eclipse.

But wait! The news had mentioned the interesting shadows that would be made filtered through tree leaves. We certainly have the trees around here! Tetsu brought out a piece of white paper and lo and behold! Eclipse patterns! How exciting!

I do not understand why the sun shining through the leaves reflects the eclipse. Just looking through the leaves we saw nothing.

You DO see all the crescent shapes through the leaves don't you?

A beautiful piece of art right there.

And these millions of orbs (getting close to the complete eclipse) were the eclipse filtered through the fir tree branches.

Why, Tetsu! Your white t-shirt has crescents all over it!

A fascinating morning. I didn't miss not having a plastic filter at all!

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