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Today in Aotearoa (NZ) we could see a beautiful partial eclipse of the Te Ra (the sun) at around 10.30am. Well that’s when I noticed it! I’d completely forgotten it was happening. The morning’s weather had been fairly changeable, but when I decided to make a cup of tea I thought I’d take it out onto the deck as it looked nice and sunny. However, by the time I’d made the tea I noticed the sky had darkened considerably. Disappointed I walked outside to see how much cloud cover there was. I looked around and there was none. Weird I thought. Walked back inside, then back outside and checked again – blue skies all around. So I got my cup of tea and took a book outside. Of course I didn’t look directly at the sun!

Then Toku came rushing down the driveway from her office up the hill calling out – ‘have you seen the eclipse’. Oh gee, what a doofus I am! I took a stack of pictures with my i.phone as it was the best way to look at it without the proper gear, and no time to make a pin hole camera. I posted the shots on facebook and a smart friend helped me out answering my questions about the pink petal shapes and also explained about the tiny crescent moon shapes you can see reflected in the lower part of the photos – which we figure is likely to be a projection of the eclipse. He said: “the moon shape is refraction – light is bouncing off the multiple glass elements within your lens. the petals are chromatic abberation – the failure of the lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point.” Super cool!

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