...that wasn't very impressive, was it? I'm on about yesterday's solar eclipse, of course. Serveral of my fellow bloggers have written about it, such as Neil here and Frances here. But unlike them, I felt somewhat disappointed.
As is the custom with nearly everything (just not the really important things, one can't help to notice every now and then) nowadays, quite a hype had been stirred up by "the media". Here in Germany, the big topic on the news was how our power stations and energy providers have been preparing for the day (for the few minutes, actually) months in advance. Anything from a total power loss to next to nothing could have happened, apparently. They said that a lot of power in this country is fed into the grid from solar panels, and if the sun disappears for a while (as it does every evening!) and then returns (as it does every morning!), the grid could be under- and overfed, and maybe not cope with the sudden up and down.
Well, looks like nothing of the kind happened. Am I cynical to believe that this was not so much due to excellent preparation and organization on the part of our energy providers, but really simply because it never went really dark or even dusky? The only perceptive difference in light I could tell was not much different from what happens on any windy day, when clouds pass in front of the sun. The birds were as unimpressed as I, they just kept singing, building their nests and doing all the other stuff birds do all day.
I did take some photos spaced within 10-15 minutes from each other (without looking through the camera - I just held it out of the window; I am not quite as daft as I look), but all they prove is what I have just said: nothing really happened.
My neigbhour was looking out of her window, too; the sunlight on the garden isn't any different than what it was in the hour before and after the eclipse.
How different was the eclipse of 1999! I remember it well. My colleagues and I went outside and looked and waited. It was surreal, somehow: Not only did it get really darkish (not pitch black dark, but much darker than what a big fat cloud could cause), it also felt decidedly chilly, and - that was the most surreal bit - the world seemed to be completely silent around us for a few minutes. No birds, no cars right there and then on our street, and we didn't speak.
I am sure elsewhere on the planet, this week's eclipse was spectacular to watch. It certainly wasn't so here. (Of course I am glad we didn't have any power outtage.)
The reason the power supply kept going was probably that everyone was outside looking at the eclipse, and not making cups of tea/coffee or hoovering the carpet? Our birds were rather quiet. Sensitive things, English birds.ReplyDelete
You're probably right, Frances. The birds around here seem to be prone to arguing, at least that's the impression I often get.Delete
I think, the more you came to the north, the more darkness it was. That's at least what I learned in TV. In Denmark it was rather dark, cause the shadow of the moon was 90 %, and here only 60.ReplyDelete
I remember very well the eclipse in the year 1999. We all have been very impressed.
I didn't see anything on telly about the eclipse, but of course 90 % is a big difference to 60.Delete
It was not much of anything here. Too many clouds and they did not seem affected.ReplyDelete
Looks like we were both in the wrong place to be impressed, Kristi. Never mind, I still had a good day - and finally cleaned my windows :-DDelete
I was very disappointed too, although it was supposed to be about 85% here. We should have planned better beforehand, but were led to believe that if you held a colander up to the sun it would reflect the eclipse onto a piece of paper. It didn't work for us! There was a stillness in the air and a feeling that we may get a thunderstorm even though the sun was still shining. I remember 1999 too. We were in the Lake District and saw the eclipse clearly through a clouded sky. Sometimes it's better to have a bit of cloud because you can then look directly at the sun. I think the media over-hyped the whole thing. After all, there are eclipse chasers that travel all over the world. They are far more frequent than we think, but not often in the place where we happen to live.ReplyDelete
At 85 % it really should have been more perceptible than it was, I think. But then I'm no expert on eclipses - and certainly won't start travelling around the world to follow the phenomena anytime soon :-)Delete
PS: Frances Garrood said the same about the colander. I never heard that advice until I first read about it on her blog yesterday.Delete
So sorry the eclipse didn't work out for you Meike. Try throwing a tennis ball up in the air. If you get it right you will obliterate your view of the sun - as in an eclipse. If the tennis ball is too small try a large inflatable beach ball.ReplyDelete
Never mind, Neil. There were more important things on my mind that day than the eclipse :-)Delete
Have you tried the ball trick for the eclipse-pictures on your blog? If yes, that really worked!
Well the eclipse was 97% here on Lewis Meike and it went slightly duller but then in Eagleton there sun had disappeared behind high hazy clouds anyway. Frankly I, too, was totally underwhelmed by the experience. As it happens I was on the telephone anyway trying to sort out a problem.ReplyDelete
I don't really mind; it was something that happened anyway, whether anyone was watching or not, whether humans cared or not - it wasn't an event planned and staged for us to enjoy in the first place, was it :-)Delete