I along with my wife Lynn Palmer traveled to Cyprus in order to observe a partial solar eclipse lasting about 146 seconds with a maximum coverage at central eclipse of about 36% of the Sun’s surface covered by the Moon. Most people would never travel so far for a partial eclipse since such an event does not cause the sky to become dark or perhaps instill some magical qualities to those who watch them. Also, if the sky is clear, you must use a special filter to watch the process so your eyes will not be impacted. On the upside, the eclipse is still fascinating to watch and you don’t have to battle the crowds or face problems getting accommodations or transport to and from the destination.
For this event I chose a site near the Dhekilia British sovereign base southeast of Larnaca that was situated on the beach. We were there from October 23-26 with the eclipse occurring the afternoon of October 25. Each day from October 21 it had been clear both day and night so we were very optimistic. Cyprus was not the location with the longest eclipse, but it was a place where the likelihood of good weather was very high. We were not disappointed!
The hotel was full and we discovered on day one that our balcony, although having a great view of the water, could not view the Sun during eclipse time. After a fruitless attempt to change rooms (there were no open rooms) I was able to negotiate setting up on the roof of the hotel (7 stories high) about 96 ft above the ground. This proved advantageous in that there were several locations out of the hot Sun which I could use as photographic spots. Our plan was for Lynn and I to use similar cameras to shoot the eclipse and for each of us to take some time to quickly roam the grounds looking for crescent shadows.
CRESCENT SUNS PRODUCED BY PLANTS AND TREES
One of the challenges I had was to see if I could find any foliage that would produce decent crescent Sun images through their left configurations. There is no handbook on this so I conducted a survey of plants within the hotel area and took photos of as many candidate trees/plants as possible. Most produced no useful images at all. Perhaps with a much larger percentage Sun coverage this task might have been easier. But a couple of them did reveal crescents as did projection through a hotel restaurant chair. Below show 8 areas where I examined the local foliage. It was definitely easier to find trees that failed to project rather than ones that did given the coverage of the Sun. Readings were taken between 20-36% coverage. It would be interesting to examine plants and trees in the future in areas with similar plant species under a much greater partial eclipse.
MISCELLANEOUS IMAGES FROM THE TRIP
SANTORINI, GREEK AEGEAN ISLANDS
This is one of the most beautiful and highly touristed areas in Greece. It should be on everyone’s bucket list.