Under (the Partial Eclipse of) the Tuscan Sun


We had been waiting for a week and it was finally the day…it was the day that our friend Matteo was picking us up to go to Florence.  But I am getting off track – it was also the day of the solar eclipse! A solar eclipse is when a new moon goes in between the sun and the earth. This blocks out the sun’s rays, creating the illusion that the sun is disappearing. It was going to be a full eclipse, even though the moon was only going cover a little more than a quarter of the sun. We refer to something as a full eclipse if the sun is completely covered in one area on the earth even if it is a partial eclipse where we are.

We made an instrument that you could use to see the sun. We can’t look into the sun because we will hurt our eyes so this is the best way to see the eclipse. It was a pair of binoculars, with cardboard taped to the front so it could create a shadow on a piece of paper. When the light shines through the front of the binoculars, it casts a projection on the paper. The eclipse was about a quarter of the sun. When we tracked the progress, at the maximum point, it looked as if it was a picture of the moon! It was a really cool experience. We got to build an instrument and use it. We also got to track its progress and write about. I have seen two lunar eclipses; in fact one was on this trip! But I had never seen a solar eclipse until this one. I was told that it isn’t every day that you see one.

One Response to Under (the Partial Eclipse of) the Tuscan Sun

  1. Mr. T.

    Nice Eclipse viewer Dante!!! Can’t wait to meet you and share tales of adventure; a presto (famiglia Falco)!!

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