Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A 2nd American Eclipse Tale

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

“Climatology is what we expect, but the weather is what we get” a famous meteorogist once said, and is very accurate for eclipse chasing. The chances to have cristal clear skies from Mexico were almost 80%, from Texas (Mexican border) some 70% and on the other side of the umbral path, in Maine or Canada, 10-15% chances of clear sky. 10 days prior to the Eclipse-Day we had the first reliable forecast: Texas 10% chances and Maine 90%! The situation is real and stayed that way till the day of the eclipse. We had to change plans, not to chase the eclipse in Texas but to escape clouds in northern Arkansas. And we did just so, with the help of live satellite images and good last minute forecast (ICON, GFS and ECMWF, in this order).

This is a 10 seconds time-lapse from Clinton, Arkansas, from where we had good clear sky with a very thin layer of cirrus, visible only at C2 and C3 when I exposed the photographs for diamond rings.

Romanian Post – Eclipse stamps issue

Monday, April 22nd, 2024

The artist Alec Bartos won this stamps issue contest for “Astronomical Events” special Romanian Post stamps issues and I am honoured that he won using my images from several totality expeditions.

You can see images from 2016 – Indonesia in collaboration with astrophotographer Alson Wong, 2017 – USA in collaboration with CFF Telescopes owner Cătălin Fus, 2021 – Eclipse Flight near Antarctica and 2023 – Timor Leste.

It is my pleasure to present you my pics in … stamps :)). Enjoy!

“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.