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what's a solar eclipse like?


There’s nothing quite like it! If you ever get a chance to see a total eclipse it’s worth the journey to wherever you have to go. Here’s a first hand description of someone's experience of watching a solar eclipse so you’ll know what to expect.


Total solar eclipse 2008 - China


We asked Alphonse what his experience of the total solar eclipse in 2008 was like.


solar eclipse 2008


Alphonse Sterling has worked in Japan for many years, first on YOHKOH and now as NASA Chief planner for Hinode.



"I was really, really nervous for this solar eclipse. The reason was because it was only my second attempt to try to really take images for my research, and the first attempt - in Ghana in 2006 - went very badly! That's another story, but the point is that the Ghana solar eclipse was three minutes long, and I did not manage to get good data then. This one was only 1 min 40 sec, so about half as long! "


"This time, everything was about getting a good set of pictures. So many things can go wrong in 100 sec! In fact, we did have issues, with the local folk being excited about us being there; standing just a few inches from us while we were trying to set up! Finally, we convinced them to move back a little, and we gave them some eclipse glasses."


Total solar eclipse 2008


"The photos worked out really well this time. We were all very happy, the science team and the folk who had gathered around us."






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