SolarEclipse BermudaFlightMovie Metcalfe 20131103




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Published on Nov 5, 2013

Concerning the questions about the nature of the eclipse observed from the Bermuda intercept flight:
The above video is a simple "point-and-shoot" record of the Nov.3 2013 Solar Eclipse as seen from the intercept flight out of Bermuda. It has few pretensions and clearly doesn't provide any beautiful views of the chromosphere or the corona, or even of Baily's Beads. But it, and the voice-over, do nevertheless provide some important insights into the overall experience of the event perhaps not so evident from discrete photos or shorter video fragments.

For example :

1. The first Baily's bead is reported at 10 seconds; the last reference to beads is at 43 seconds.

2. The first reference to chromosphere is reported at 15 seconds; the last reference at 59 seconds.

3. A sharp fall in Solar brightness occurs at about 24 seconds with a corresponding rise in brightness evident around 34 seconds.

4. The Moon's shadow appears distinctly on the clouds below at around 27-28 seconds, and it then rushes off towards the Sun (you can see the progressive darkening of the clouds to greater distances). The shadow visibility is very brief and limited, despite the small umbra, because the aeroplane is so near the cloud tops (pity!).

From the above I conclude:

- The umbra crossed over us (right-on Xavier!), but beads were at all times present (hence the saturation at the solar position).

- Nevertheless, the abrupt dip in brightness between 24 and 34 seconds is - to my mind - inconsistent with a partial eclipse or an annular eclipse, therefore ... ??? what was it we saw ??? Fine by me to call it a total eclipse - and I will!

- Events of a unique and spectacular character were clearly visible to the unaided eye extending over at least 50 seconds.

I once again marvel at the versatility of the human eye!!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Stephan and Dirk for having the nerve to take responsibility for organising such a technically difficult effort, Xavier for the meticulous navigation, the pilot (Martin Amick) for getting us there right on the button, and all the group for being such a nice bunch!

All the best,



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