Saturday, July 25, 2009

There Goes the Sun - Asia's Solar Eclipse

Well, the sun did go away for a little bit on Wednesday, July 22nd, but we couldn't see it because it was cloudy and completely overcast here in Zushi. We live in Kanagawa Prefecture, about an hour south of Tokyo by train. We don't live far south enough to see the total eclipse, and since watching from the front yard was pointless, I tuned in to some of our local Japanese television stations.

At the maximum spot the totality of the eclipse lasted 6 minutes and 39 seconds. The only area of Japan to see the total eclipse was the small islands between Kyushu and Okinawa. We lost 60% of the sunlight, and it did get noticeably darker outside, but it could have easily been mistaken for storm clouds rolling in.

Since we've known about the eclipse for a while I decided to show the girls pictures and try to explain what was going to happen. The night before we looked at pictures and diagrams, and even brought out the flashlight to make shadows with our hands. I realize Keanna's 5 and Sydney's 3 and didn't expect much from our conversation and shadow hand puppets. As we were looking at pictures of the umbra, penumbra and corona, I began having flashbacks from Mrs. Spiegel's earth science class from my freshman year of high school.

Anyway, getting back to watching it on t.v. I was scanning through the channels and figured we'd get local coverage along with live satellite feeds from the southern islands. The girls had an idea of what was going to happen, they knew the moon was going to come in front of the sun, and I wanted them to be able to see it. I always keep my little camera on hand to record video, and thankfully I turned to a certain station at the right time. Scanning through I saw this (see the video below), two men dressed up, one as the sun, the other as the moon. When we saw this it was a perfect way to show the girls what was happening...I laughed so hard I nearly snorted. We can't understand a word of it, so maybe that makes it funnier, maybe it doesn't, but take a couple of minutes to watch if you want a laugh. If you're an email subscriber you'll need to click here to watch the video.


tokyo5 said...

The beach in that video is 江ノ島 (Enoshima). Not too far from you.

mandy_Reeves said...

ohhh that was cute! The girls' commentary in the background was so cute.

SabrinaT said...

That was funny...

Joe and Samantha said...

I will be in Japan in just a few weeks. So excited!

Joe and Samantha said...

Question ( I sent you on SWC too )

Hey there.

We're going to Japan 9th-15th to get my sister-in-law settled at Toyo University for her abroad program for the year.

We are having trouble not spending 10 million dollars getting from the airport to our hotel

Tokyo Narita (NRT)

Courtyard Tokyo Ginza Hotel

Any thoughts?

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