The Mind of the Universe


Solar eclipse expedition

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 Rapa Nui 2010
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 R10a, Rapa Nui, 2010
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

Green flash at sunset, Rapa Nui, 2010