The weather on eclipse day was dark and gloomy. It was overcast, with the clouds threatening to burst with rain any moment.
Despite escaping the rain belt in Shanghai which was threatening to ruin eclipse viewing, it still dealt us a glancing blow in Yangshan. (The latter supposedly to be the best observation area in China.) As a result of the clouds, I only managed to witness less than 15% of the eclipse in progress.
The clouds broke every now and then to provide me with glimpses (and photo opportunities) of the eclipse.
About 40% obscured at 9.09 A.M.
I am however, slightly miffed that I didn’t get to see the eclipse during totality. An extremely thick bunch of clouds decided to move in at the last minute (and it wasn’t as if there weren’t enough clouds to begin with) and thus the majestic sun corona was completely obscured from view despite the sheer length of totality.
The atmosphere was terrific, though!
I was amongst a whole flock of avid eclipse chasers with really bizarre, advanced equipment which made me really envious.
However, the weather was so bad that it was really beginning to look as if I’ve flown all the way here for nothing. It made me grouch for a while. Then, a gap suddenly appeared in the clouds and everyone started screaming with joy. (That was when I captured the above photo.)
To put it in my dad’s words – “This is one eclipse that will really make you shit in your pants.”
The rest of the eclipse viewing was erratic. I was staring at a patch of grey clouds for most of the duration, occasionally sitting up, alert when I spot a potential patch of cloud-free sky heading in my direction. The fact that there were so many people around with the same goal, and looking out for the same thing felt … good. It was as if we were all united against one enemy – the clouds.
I spent most of the time just sitting around and soaking up the atmosphere.
The period of totality was especially amazing despite not being able to see the sun. It suddenly became extremely dark (and rather eerie) really quickly, and I was surrounded with cheers and shrieks of delight.
The period of darkness lasted for slightly more than five minutes before light soon flooded the area again. Bloody awesome feeling, really.
I am really happy we made the decision to drive down to Yangshan for the eclipse. Based on what I’ve heard (and seen in the news), it was raining heavily in Shanghai throughout the eclipse duration and hardly anyone managed to even catch a glimpse of it.
More photos within. ;)
About 60% obscured at 9.19 A.M.
95% obscured at 9.49 A.M, after totality has passed.
The moon slowly moving away from the sun, leaving it 90% obscured at 9.55 A.M.
40% obscured at 10.29 A.M. with half an hour of eclipse time left to go.
20% obscured at 10.40 A.M. Eclipse came to an end 21 minutes later.
I ended up not using the solar filters at all. The clouds were so thick that they filtered out most of the sun’s rays, making naked-eye eclipse viewing comfortable most of the time.
I will definitely go eclipse-chasing again. Till next time, Mister Sun!