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Total Eclipse Over Germany (Wednesday, August 11, 1999)

I just had the opportunity to experience the last total solar eclipse of the century, from Walldorf, Germany:

Everything was very normal, then, all of a sudden (using those cool shades) we could see a tiny sliver of the moon in front of sun, and slowly it got bigger -- the sky wasn't noticeably darkened, and the sun itself was still too bright to look at without the glasses.

Then, after about 15 minutes, the sun was visibly covered by the moon. But the sky didn't much darken until just a tiny sliver of the sun was still visible, and even then, we could really only tell that just a sliver was left by using the glasses.

Then suddenly, the sky grew dark, the brightness of the sun that had been obscuring the view for those of us not wearing special glasses vanished, and we could all see a black circle in the sky that was the moon, surrounded by a circle of flame that was all that remained visible of the sun.

As the small crowd of people with us in front of the office cheered, I looked around and noticed that the streets lights had all come on, and that the sky was dark on the other horizon opposite the darkened sun.

The eerie twilight only lasted a minute, and then gradually the moon slid out from in front of the sun, and the sky brightened again to noon-time.

—Brian (8/11/1999 2:00 PM)
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