Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
This is a rare event that I witnessed between two dives during my last trip to Indonesia. The rendezvous of the Sun with the Moon!
Nasa, Indonesia and me
I knew about it before leaving. I knew I was going to be in an area of the planet where the solar eclipse of March 9, 2016 was going to be observable. A video animation of Nasa is better than a long speech:
I landed at Triton Bay, located in the West Papua region, eastern Indonesia, on March 8, the day before.
Triton Bay is where I put a little red circle, on the map below:
It is clear that it is just a bit too "low" compared to the path of the shadow of the Moon on Earth, corresponding to the total eclipse (purple line). So I knew, before leaving, that the eclipse would reach only 90%, where I would be. But it would still be noticeable and observable, in the middle of the morning, around 10h-10h30 ...
Presumably, then, right after my very first dive of the day, pile up during the surface interval!
A strange halo around the sun
And indeed, that day, when we come out of the water, Andi and Edi, my two guides, Lisa, owner of the resort Triton Bay Diversand I immediately notice that the light is not quite as usual. And it is only then that I remember that there is an eclipse today! Besides, it lacked a little brightness, under water, at the end of diving ... Lisa points the finger at the sky, makes me notice a strange halo, like a kind of crown around the sun.
We go back to the boat, we get out of gear and we dock on a small sandy cove, for the surface interval. Lisa fumbles in her stuff and pulls out two green plastic protective masks with an opaque plastic visor, like a cheap welder's mask. "That's all I could find here, she tells me. Better not to fix the sun too long, it is not really suitable, I think. "
Masks go from hand to hand. The boatmen, the guides, Lisa and I, we do not return. They are not so bad, these masks. Through, we can see the black disk of the Moon nibble the white disk of the Sun.
We are nibbling cookies while drinking tea. It's always daytime on our little beach, but we feel that the sun is not as hot as it should be, at this time.
The atmosphere is a little strange and there is always this halo around the sun. It is only through the black visor that we really see what happens.
My SLR camera is in its waterproof case, for photos underwater, with the macro lens ... Unusable, so. But I have my little camera in my bag for souvenir photos. Quickly, I'm trying to make an image before it's too late. I stick the lens inside the opaque filter. The result is not famous, but I am happy to have managed to immortalize the moment, before the eclipse ends.
There is something a little magical, to be there, alone in the world on this beach of Papua, in our wet neoprene suits, to watch this cosmic encounter ...
This is the first time I am entitled to an eclipse during a surface interval. ????