Thursday, 24 May 2012
JAPAN'S ANNULAR ECLIPSE- THE TRUTH*
Our Man has no idea why you pop by here, it surely isn't for the latest videos (Our Man's old enough to remember when this one wasn't being spoofed. Back in the day this was pretty cutting edge by UK standards. We pasty Brits even talked ourselves into believing we could give the tanned Yanks a run for their money on the creative stakes, the deluded fools that we were... remember ZX Spectrums? The Sinclair C5? Buggles? Exactly.) but he is glad you do pop by here. Because Our Man has some literally earth shaking news. Actually, not literally. Or even metaphorically. Or even news, exactly, since it is at least a couple of days old.
Our Man didn't want to rain on anyone's parade the other day, but he was a bit underwhelmed by the Ring of Fire Anal Eclipse (think you mean annular - Ed.) This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had Our Man standing outside his bunker peering up at the skies waiting for it to get all dark and King Arthur to release his Connecticut Yankee.
The problem is this: Every picture you see of eclipses in papers and on the internet looks something like this (unless it's taken by the Japan Times in which case the eclipse has to be be partially eclipsed by the Tokyo Sky Tree too):
But here's a dirty little secret that Our Man noticed even folk who actually saw it with their very own eyes didn't let you in on. Ready? Bookmark where you got to in Chrysanthemum and Sword and pay attention... ready? It doesn't look like that at all unless you want it to. This is how the eclipse looks to the naked eye (and iPhone):
And pretty much that is how it looked to Our Man. He stood for a few seconds and between his fingers he actually saw a sort of lumpy thing moving across the sun, before he could look no more. Yeah, it was bright, dazzling even. NOT AT ALL "DAY TURNED TO NIGHT". Yeah, it was a bit darker than it normally is on a sunny day at 7:30 a.m., but only a bit. Sort of like it does when it's just beginning to get around to being dusk. But not dark. Nothing like the pictures that you see beamed around the world that say "Look, we're so cool we had a once in a lifetime experience when day turned to night! (and you didn't)"
If you feel bad that you missed the Big Annular One (Anal One? - ed.), don't. There will be another one in 80 years in Hokkaido. Or you could just wait a couple of hours and day will turn into night.
*The truth of course is Our Man should just buy a blinking proper camera or iphone app that has all the filters, give you folks what you want and stop whinging. But where's the fun in that?