Friday, March 20, 2015

Solar Eclipse

It was not quite how I planned it. Due to ticket mixup I was stuck in Stavanger, Norway, the night before the eclipse. I took a morning flight instead. I arrived back in Trondheim at the airport at 10 am on 20.March, right when the solar eclipse started. I could never get home to get my good camera in time, so I decided to just stay where I was and see what I could see and what I could take a picture of with my phone.

On the roof of the parking garage at the airport I could look at the reflection of the sun off the back window of my car and watch the sun slowly turning into a sliver. I could see it well, but it was too much for my phone.

A big cloud rolled in, so I got in my car and left the airport, driving west towards a break in the clouds. It got darker and darker. I took a short video from the car window as I drove. A frame from the video caught the sunlight through a cloud, dim enough for my camera to remember. Click on the photo to see a bigger version and you can see the thin crescent shape of the sun about to vanish.

I found an okay spot to stop. I punch a hole in a piece of paper and looked at the pinhole projection on another sheet I put under the rear wiper of my car. I lamented the fact that I had planned to find a place on campus where the sun would come through many holes, like through the leaves of a tree or one of the many wire meshes around my building. I thought many little holes would make a cool composite image. Then it occurred to me I could make own right there. So I punched a bunch of holes, in the shape of the crescent I was seeing on the paper.

I couldn't punch the holes with the precision I would have liked to have had if I weren't standing in a parking lot holding a sheet of paper and a pencil with the minutes ticking away. I am however satisfied with my fractal eclipse:

It was not the total eclipse like they experienced a few hours north in Svalbard, and the clouds dampened the experience a bit. But all in all given the circumstances, I think it was pretty good solar eclipse experience!


  1. Dear Mike, I want to let you know what an inspiration it has been watching you and Pam and your adventures in Norway. My family moved to Norway a few years ago and we watched your adventures unfold with ours. Sadly, we are on our way back to Minnesota. The adventure ended for my husband a few years ago and though he tried to make things work for him here, we decided to head home. (A familiar story!)Though I will miss life here, it is great to be looking forward with my partner again and we will continue to follow your adventures from afar. Thank you for sharing your love and adventures with us strangers! Jolene and Jeff

    1. Thanks for writing! I made this blog just for my own record, but it is really really nice to hear that some people have enjoyed it and shared in my journey. Good luck on yours!