Being Thankful for Being Clouded Out

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Nov. 28 2013 8:00 AM

Ethiopian (non) Eclipse

The Moon over Ethiopia
The Moon over Ethiopia, from the video below.

Photo by Geoff Sims

I am thankful for time-lapse photography.

I am thankful the Sun is 400 times bigger than the Moon, and 400 times farther away, making them approximately the same size in the sky.

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I am thankful for the adventurous spirit in humans that makes them travel thousands of kilometers to seek out beauty and wonder, to glimpse something ephemeral in the vastness of time, and to be not only happy, but joyous, even when the stars metaphorically did not align.

I can only hope I would be so upbeat if I journeyed that far and not see an eclipse. Still, photographer Geoff Sims did get that wonderful sequence showing the shadow of the Moon moving across the clouds (I wrote about this phenomenon for a picture and video of the eclipse taken in Uganda). And it does appear he had a good time; it probably helps that he’s seen eclipses before and taken stunning photos and videos of them.

Finding success in failure is a good thing to keep in mind. I suppose that’s another thing to be thankful for.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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