Every few months, the shadow of the Moon brushes the Earth’s surface. Anyone lucky enough to find themselves beneath the shadow of the Moon will see a solar eclipse – either partial, annular, or best of all, total. A total eclipse of the Sun is arguably the most spectacular of all natural phenomena. I place it in the same league as rainbows and sunsets – and if there was just one sunset a year, only visible from somewhere obscure, wouldn’t you want to travel to see it?
So I am an eclipse interceptor. Some people call us eclipse “chasers”, but as the Moon’s shadow moves faster than we can; the best we can do is put ourselves in the way of the Moon’s shadow and hope that the weather co-operates.
This talk is a personal introduction to the physics, history and sociology of eclipse chasing, illustrated from my own travels around the world and my researches into historical eclipses.
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