Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Annular Eclipse - May 30, 1984 
The annular solar eclipse of May 30, 1984 - here shown in its partial eclipse phase - as projected through a telescope onto a white card.

On May 30, 1984, Atlanta was treated to a rare event: an annular solar eclipse.

In an annular eclipse, the Moon is far enough away from the Earth so that it is unable to completely obscure the Sun’s disc.  The result: a “ring of fire” at maximum eclipse.  Not as dramatic, perhaps, as a total solar eclipse, but nevertheless an exciting and unusual sight.

The path of the eclipse was narrow enough so that I had to drive to midtown Atlanta in order to experience it.  (Here in Big Chicken country, we were treated to a far less exciting 98% partial eclipse.)  I parked near the Turner Broadcasting campus and settled myself on the lawn there, along with several dozen other amateur astronomers and eclipse junkies.

The period of annularity was brief - about a minute - but long enough to observe the strange semi-twilight that settled over the city.  Almost thirty years has passed, and it’s still fresh in my mind.

1 comment:

Pat said...

On that day I was at the Heublein Wine Auction at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead. They interrupted the auction so everyone could go outside and experience the eclipse. As it got dark, the wind picked up and birds returned to the trees. Weird.