My three solar eclipses

In the shadow of the upcoming Great American Solar Eclipse, I here recall my three encounters with the moon, blocking our sun.

1.)  My first solar eclipse was back back in the summer of 1990, June 22 to be more exact, in my early 20's, when I travelled with my father from Sweden almost to the Russian border in Joenssuu, Finland, to watch a total. 

We traveled nonstop for 14 hours, both by boat and by car, and got there just in time to experience the deep twilight during the totality, at 04:52 in the morning and midnight sun. We manage to catch a glimpse of it just as the sun took a peak through the clouds. The birds stopped singing and the crowd that had gathered at a football field stopped talking. Even the wind stopped! It was dead calm and no one said a word until the real totality began and a loud "Wow!" could be heard among us sun gazers. Neither of us two had any solar eclipse glasses or shades with us so we couldn't watch directly at the sun, but the mere experience itself was really worth the long journey!

The shadow, white band on the enclosed map, was 240 km wide as it crossed Finland's south-eastern parts.

2.) My second eclipse was a partial, some fifteen years ago or so, when I was at work. Unfortunately I didn't have proper eclipse glasses with me so I didn't see much. On the other side  it wasn't much to see either as not much of the sun was blocked from our part of the world. So if you didn't know what was going on you couldn't tell what was happening, as it didn't get any darker at all.

3.) My third and most recent eclipse was also a partial, just a few years ago here in Sweden, when I was fortunate to be able to watch it from work too, now with proper solar eclipse shades this time. 

As this occurred during work hours I didn't have time to prepare any photo equipments so I couldn't take any pictures of it. Luckily this was a sunny day too and the sun had just started to shine through one of the work windows and I could see the moon cover a large bit of the sun, at maximum. The sun looked just like a crescent moon, but much much brighter. That was a pretty cool experience too!

Read more about the August 21, 2017, Great American Eclipse here: 
- https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov 

If you have twitter you can follow my space news account @spaceflashnews there.

Happy solar eclipse viewing!
/Christofer Döss, Sweden

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