Das Erlebnis der Jahrtausend

In Japan, public interest is mounting ahead of this week’s solar eclipse, even though the moon’s shadow won’t pass directly over any of the archipelago’s large islands. To mark the occasion, Amazon Japan are hawking a line of eclipse sunglasses.

I was living near Stuttgart when it was in the path of total occultation of the 1999 solar eclipse. The local authorities promoted the event as "The Experience of the Millennium" ("Das Erlebnis der Jahrtausend"), but it was overcast – and pouring with rain – that morning, so we were unable to observe the eclipse itself. But the effect was of nightfall, total darkness and then sunrise all within three or so minutes, which in itself was something to behold shortly before lunchtime.

I neglected to bring a camera with me that day, but it’s the sort of thing best captured on video anyway and, helpfully, someone did bring a video camera and has posted the video on-line:

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