2010 total solar eclipse

The first photo is right before the totality begins (second contact) with the Baily’s beads.

I viewed this eclipse from the Anaa atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago east of Tahiti. Time difference from Norway is 12 hours, so this is a faraway place in every way. The arrangements was made by UK based Astro Expeditions, and the logistics behind this must have been quite a challenge. First of all they had to persuade the people to receive and cater for us, then the actual execution of all the activities down to each household’s preparation, cleaning, food, etc. Not to mention how the Anaa people were going to sleep and live during our “occupation” of their homes. Basically the homes and buildings that did not cater for the visitors were used as dormitories for the Anaa people. This was a major undertaking that involved all the people of the island for months prior to the 2 days we were visiting.

My wonderful host Vaihere made sure I got up 04:30 well in time for the eclipse, prepared breakfast and then took me and the 3 other guests to the eclipse viewing site south of the airport.

The sky was looking great – only small, almost transparent, and fast moving low clouds blown in by the wind. They did not appear to increase in size in the beginning, but that changed and a large cloud was forming, holdig rain. We didn’t worry as the totality was far away. The sun was behind this cloud for a long time, but the blue sky trailing it looked very promising for the time of totality.
We were in suspense all the way up to totality, as we even got a shower! The suspense reach fever pitch when some thick clouds came from another direction than the prevailing wind. To the last second it looked like the entire totality would occur behind a thick cloud. Fortunately the thick of the cloud covered the sun a bit after third contact (after totality). The clouds actually made the experience and photos more dramatic.

Baily’s beads disappearing fast.

Here the toality is only seconds away and the corona is now visible and growing.

The clouds unfortunately obstructed the full extent of the corona, but this is the best exposure I could come up with and it gives an idea of how active the sun actually was. With longer exposure times the clouds became too dominant and shiny.

Totality is coming to an end and you can glimpse where the sun is going to reappear.

The sun is peeking through two vallyes on the moon.

It’s over!!!

Yet this was the only time I saw the shadow bands in the clouds.

They can only be seen very close to totality like here or very soon after totality. The direction of the bands are that of the light source, which here is close to nine o’clock.


Last updated on 25 October 2014