The eclipse of 1979

1979 eclipse (photo by Matthew Cole) My first major astronomical experience took place 30 years ago: the total solar eclipse of February 26, 1979. Some people spend thousands of dollars to see a solar eclipse; I was lucky: the eclipse came to me. But to see it, I had to stay home from school that morning. My father’s recollection is that for some nonsensical reason or other, the schools were going to keep the kids inside during totality. Screw that, said my parents, who had three science degrees between them. So I saw the last few seconds of totality from my front porch.

Meanwhile, a lot of people came to Winnipeg in February to see it, which as an expatriate Winnipegger I will admit is not the best time of year to visit: see recollections at Behind Blue Skies and Regenaxe. Here’s the April 1979 issue of the newsletter of the Kingston chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which contained several eclipse reports, including one by David Levy.

(Photo of the 1979 eclipse by Matthew Cole.)