What a show! Observatory doors open, special glasses ready, cameras, all of us standing in the cold, waiting for the moment of truth. Someone in the distance shouts, “First contact, first contact!” The moon has reached the sun, moving in front of it in a slow waltz, spectators watching, taking pictures, doing jumping jacks to keep warm while totality is reached, knowing that the temperature will drop a couple of more degrees. Finally, the eclipse totality is reached. The moon stands between us and our sun, not knowing what phenomenon she has created for us. Darkness comes. The sun’s atmosphere shines over us, deserving of it’s name, corona. The prominences and flares that are visible along the sun’s limb, almost waving at those observing them, remind us of how active our star is. A silence follows a quick cheer from the crowd. No words can describe the feeling one gets when witnessing such an event. The entire world around us has disappeared. It’s just us and the eclipse. How lucky we are!!!
The moon continues to waltz her way across our view of the sun. The sun slowly appears behind the moon. Light once again, final pictures and videos, a few more cheers, lots of smiles. We enter the observatory and we all embrace and congratulate each other. Those two minutes of eclipse time brought us all here and connected us. We head back outside to talk to the media, champagne is passed around, the moon has left the stage, the sun proudly shines knowing we are all talking about him, not a single frown in the crowd, we are happy.
It is quiet again. People have left and the area around the old observatory is empty. Time to look at our data!