Archive for the ‘2023 TSE’ Category

“Mysterious Island” in Total Eclipse

Sunday, May 14th, 2023

This was my 14th total eclipse expedition. I chose East Timor for several reasons, but the most important, I must admit, was the budget. I studied the weather pattern well, using satellite images, and came to the conclusion that the chances of a clear sky for the time of the eclipse (not necessarily on the day of observation, so exactly at the minute of the eclipse) are actually sufficient for the success of the expedition (over 65% chances of clear skies). Obviously, the statistics are one thing and the reality on the day of the observation can be completely different. But this time, things worked out and we had a completely clear sky at the time of totality, on April 20, 2023.

I had two goals for this excursion: the first, obviously, to observe the eclipse on clear sky and the second, to give a presentation at a school in East Timor. The observation of the eclipse was successful, and I held the presentation for the children from the “CAFE Manatuto school”, at the invitation of the Portuguese Embassy in East Timor, through the educational program CAFE project – Centros de Aprendizagem e Formacao Escolar de Timor-Leste, a bilateral cooperation project between Portugal and East Timor.

I had the honor and privilege of talking to the children on that remote island about eclipses and astronomy for two hours. One thing is certain: children are the same all over the world, they are intelligent, curious and understand science if you explain it interactively.