Back in 1999 I saw a total solar eclipse in Europe, and it was a life-altering experience. I wrote about it back then, but was never entirely happy with the article. This week I’ve revised it. It could still benefit from some editing and revision (comments welcome), but I think it’s now a good read. It’s full of intellectual observations, but there are powerful emotions too.
If you’re interested, you can read it as a pdf, or just scroll down.
A Luminescent Darkness: My 1999 Eclipse Adventure
© Matt Strassler 1999
After two years of dreaming, two months of planning, and two hours of packing, I drove to John F. Kennedy airport, took the shuttle to the Air France terminal, and checked in. I was brimming with excitement. In three days time, with a bit of luck, I would witness one the great spectacles that a human being can experience: a complete, utter and total eclipse of the Sun.
I had missed one eight years earlier. In July 1991, a total solar eclipse crossed over Baja California. I had thought seriously about driving the fourteen hundred miles from the San Francisco area, where I was ...