Milennium Christmas Present
Monday, 25 December 2000

from my front porch - Belleville IN (USA)

Partial solar eclipses are really not too much to get excited about. It is certainly neat to see the moon gobble up the sun, and wonder yet again at how the whole thing would have been perceived by ancient people who could have had no idea about what was really happening. But, I don't think anyone would ever actually travel anywhere to see one (I certainly wouldn't), just because there's none of the excitement and none of the spectacle of a total eclipse.

But, when you can see one from your front porch, and it's a perfectly clear day, then why not look at it, take some pictures, and maybe show someone something cool that they don't get to see every day? So, I did. I took quite a few pictures, and am working on compiling the whole thing into an animated GIF that I'll put up here when it's done. For now, I'll just report that it was about 20° outside, but the sky was absolutely clear, and so I froze out there on my porch with my wife wondering how in the world she could have married someone stupid enough to be doing something so crazy on Christmas Day. There were lots of sunspots, and the whole event was a pretty nice Christmas present from the skies. So, there are pictures. I hope you saw it if you were able, but remember that it's NOTHING at all like a total eclipse!

I took this the day before the eclipse, to check exposures and setup. Note all the sunspots!

Now, I've made an animated gif of what the eclipse looked like, which has the same quality as the above image, with 700 images in its sequence! It is super smooth, and very impressive,'s 29 MB. (*sigh*) So, I can't put it up. But, I've done a watered down version of it, by taking avery 5th frame or so, shrinking it down, and watering down the color palette to the point where it looks terrible, but gives you some idea of what its masterful parent looked like. It's only (?) 2MB, and here's the link to see it.