solar eclipse

I don’t know what your definition of date night is, but for as long as Hubby and I have been together, our definition has included celestial stuff.  No, not Cloud Nine sprinkled with cherubs–actual, scientific bodies in the sky.  This weekend we saw a solar eclipse.

moon covering lower right part of sunOnly the camera saw this view since it’s obviously not a great idea for humans to stare at the sun.  Our primary viewing method was this:

eclipse image projected on manila folder

In case you’re not sure what “this” is, Lovey positioned a telescope so the image of the eclipse would project onto a surface held near the eyepiece.  Our surface of choice was a manila folder–the closest thing to the paper plate Hubby originally asked for.  We checked our party box: no paper plates.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering what kind of crazies just happen to have a telescope, it was a gift from my dad during college.  That explains everything, right?  Well, it’s a story for another day.

The telescope made it easy to watch the moon’s progress in blocking out the sun.  The white circle is the sun; the gray semicircle coming from the lower left in the photo below is the moon.  All those other shadows are the telescope hardware.  Nevermind them.

shadow of solar eclipse on manila folder

We watched the eclipse on paper for a while, then gave up trying to move it back and forth to keep the circle of sun centered.  We fell back to a more basic technique.

image of solar eclipse on my hand    image of solar eclipse on Lovey's hand

The light’s intensity increased as the sunset began.  I loved the illusion that crescents of fire emblazoned our palms.

But my favorite part of the evening may have been when I realized my husband was cheerfully, oh-so-casually, trotting up the street with a telescope over his shoulder.  “Why, yes, I do have a large scientific instrument with me on my evening stroll.  Do you find that odd?”

Lovey toting a telescope down the streetI find it hilarious.  Thanks for a fun evening, babe!

Leave a comment


  1. Hubby

     /  May 21, 2012

    And those dots on the sun of the third picture are sunspots! So cool.

  2. Diana Fahrenholtz

     /  June 3, 2012

    What a great date night! Inexpensive and memorable!


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