Solar Eclipse, Cabo San Lucas, 1991
In July of 1991, nature repeated one of its most spectacular shows - a total
eclipse of the sun.
Gerry and I
went to Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico, checked
into a resort hotel, and let the rest of the show come to us.
As you can see in the photo (lower left) taken during totality, I leaned
back against the stone wall that overlooks a Pacific Ocean view, and enjoyed
the sun's corona, the pominances dancing through craters on the moon, and felt
the light cool breeze that rushes along underneath the sun's dark path.
This brief time of near night is accompanied by another light show. The
horizon gives the appearance of a 360-degree sunrise (or sunset?) a slice of
which you see in the lower photo.
Because the moon crosses the sun's path so irregularly (although
predictably), most eclipse chasers are forced to follow the sun's umbra across
withering deserts, frozen tundra, humid jungles, and empty expanses of ocean,
risking weather-induced disappointment to witness a phenomonon that lasts
usually no more than two minutes. But every few hundred years, the moon is
close enough to the earth at the right time of year to lengthen greatly it's
black reward -- the period know as totality, when the moon's lingering bulk
masks the sun's photosphere (photo in the upper left corner). The 1991 totality
at this locale lasted more than six minutes. At the "center line"
it was seven minutes!
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