Monday, May 21, 2012

Partial Eclipse

Yesterday's partial solar eclipse was a washout here in my part of Indiana.  The day started clear and sunny, but cumulus clouds started to roll in after lunch.  By 5 pm, thunderheads were beginning to build in the west and the sky was growing darker and hazier.  However, there was at least some watery sunlight, so I packed up the scopes and headed to a country site.  By the time I got there (a mere 10 minute drive), the sun was completely obscured by thick, dark clouds, the edges of which were tantalizingly silver.  I waited for a few minutes, but the cloud was growing thicker.  I decided to drive a little further to a low ridge with a better western view so I could assess the situation a little better.  When I got there, it was obvious that the sun would be a no-show:  there was solid cloud covering the western sky. 

I guess that is the challenge of astronomy.  Like farming, you can prepare, but sometimes nature just doesn't cooperate.  I'm hoping we don't have a repeat for the Venus transit.