Diver’s Dispatch: Total Solar Eclipse

It’s been over 72 hours since the closest star to planet Earth was completely veiled by the moon and I’m still in a bit of shock from experiencing the event first hand.  This was my second total solar eclipse and I am pleased to admit that I’m hooked on the cosmic coincidence of the orbital paths of the moon and sun crossing perfectly.  The 2010 eclipse path began over the South Pacific, not far from the Cook Islands, and headed east through French Polynesia, over Easter Island and crossed Patagonia, ending somewhere not far from Argentina’s coast.  I was onboard a ship based out of Tahiti and witnessed totality, when the sun is completely obscured by the moon, a day’s sail south of Papeete.  During the four minutes of totality my brain went completely blank and those who have seen total solar eclipses will understand this reaction.  Standing in the shadow of the moon as it completely covers the face of the sun is an indescribable feeling that cannot be adequately expressed in words or images.  Total solar eclipse’s occur, on average, every 18 months or so and the next one will be over two years away, during November of 2012.  The next total solar eclipse that crosses the continental U.S. will be on August 21, 2017.  Be sure to make the effort to witness this incredible natural event at some point.

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