Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Eclipse Awareness

While I think it's kind of cool that our moon and sun are just the right size and distance away to do this very neatly, I'm not awed by solar eclipses. I prefer lunar eclipses, because you can watch them safely without projecting them or having special glasses.

I was flying during the eclipse yesterday, although not through the path of totality. A bit before it, a pilot asked air traffic control, "what time is the eclipse at this latitude?" I think he meant longitude. Pilots ask controllers everything. Hockey scores, election results, what's that lake in front of me called? The controller said, "I think it's happening now where we are at the Centre. Some people just went outside on break with the glasses." As you would have expected, air traffic controllers are smart enough not to stare at the sun.

It might have been starting then. Or maybe a bit later. It got a bit darker. I turned the cockpit lights on and concentrated on not looking out the window in the direction of the sun. Eventually it got lighter again. Then the earth turned some more and it got darker again. I'm pretty sure that it will be lighter again in the morning.