February 25, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: A Stratospheric Eclipse

A fine partial eclipse as seen from the UK.

(Credit and copyright: Blob rana).

Our mind has been consistently blown this past weekend as photos continue to pour in of Friday’s total solar eclipse.  We’ve been doing live coverage of eclipses for various venues now for a few years, and it simply amazes us how quickly video and images now flows in to us from the field. The path of totality for the March 20th solar eclipse only made landfall over distant Svalbard and the Faroe Islands, and yet within hours, we had photos, animations, Vines and reports of the eclipse from Earth and space before it was even over.

One of the more amazing videos that you may not have seen is this series of captures aloft courtesy of a team of eclipse chasers led by Xavier Jubier and Amjet Executive:

This kind of eclipse cinematography takes things to the next level, as the three Dassault Falcon aircraft carefully thread the umbra of the Moon across the high Arctic. And check out this video shot from the wing of one of the aircraft using a GoPro camera. Outstanding!

It’s an amazing age of near-instantaneous information collecting, for sure. It is amusing  to contrast this weekend’s past eclipse coverage with the first eclipse we ever attempted to watch online at an internet café in the late 1990s, where we were afforded a few grim images of the partially eclipsed Sun after endless rounds of Netscape (remember Netscape?) web browser refreshes.

And there’s bound to be more eclipse awesomeness as the third of four total lunar eclipses in the current ongoing tetrad is coming right up for North America on April 4th…

Stay tuned!

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