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Rapa Nui: a magical solar eclipse 2010

Eclipses

Total solar eclipses are arguably the most spectacular displays in Nature, specially when they occur over exotic landscapes. Having been lucky enough to witness these displays for over 40 years all over the world, I have now the privilege and pleasure of sharing my experience as a guest lecturer for Explore Worldwide, a large adventure tour company with recent interest in astronomy-related trips.

 On 2010 July 11, the shadow of the Moon crossed the south Pacific Ocean, covering only a handful of islands, including Rapa Nui (Easter Island), chosen as our final destination for its amazing landscapes dominated by volcanos and the enigmatic moai statues. Totality would last over 4.5 minutes with the Sun around 40° high.

An unforgettable experience framed by a superb location and a dramatic preamble by threatening weather. Our group of more than 80 Explore enthusiasts enjoyed from a magical location, one of the most spectacular eclipses in memory.

SILENT DREAM


Diamond ring sequence of selected frames taken from the High Definition video.



Under the shadow of the moon Nature comes to a silent standstill. For a brief eternity, cosmic and human eyes embrace in an experience where our ancestral fears, deep feelings and science are all unified (composite image)


Corona Rapa Nui

Composite image of the corona

Note the polar plumes distorted by powerful magnetic fields. This is typical of periods of minimum solar activity. The star on the left is Delta Geminorum, mag 3.5

EQUIPMENT CRATERNaro Kau

Rano Kau crater before and during totality. These are two frames from a high definition video filmed with a fish-eye lens.

3 eclipse observersGreen flash