Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The day the moon came between the sun & the earth.



T
his morning, we saw a partial solar eclipse!!

A solar eclipse is when the moon sits between the sun and the earth. In a total eclipse, the skies go dark as the moon completely blocks the sun so all you see is the corona of the sun.

Today, the actual path of the total solar eclipse passed through China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. In Mongolia, we only experienced a partial eclipse.



The solar eclipse of July 22, 2009 will going down in the history books as the longest total solar eclipse during the 21st century...it will not to be surpassed until June 2132 which I will not be around to see. So, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us and we were not going to miss out on it.






In Mongolia, the partial solar eclipse was to begin at 8:27am, reach its maximum at 9:22am and finish at 10:22am. We were already on the road by 8am so sometime between 8:27am and 9:22am, we pulled over. Thanks to Forrest who is our resident science teacher, we fashioned viewers out of sheets of paper and plastic. Old fashioned science at its best :-)









At our first stop, we could see a bit of the crescent shape as the moon was moving into eclipse position.


A rough outline of a crescent was not much to see so we decided to drive on. Sometime after 9am, we pulled over again. This time, what we saw was a distinct crescent shape. A partial solar eclipse in all its scientific glory!


Woohoo!!