Staring at the Sun

On Monday, a day the earth didn’t end after all, Kongo was in San Diego for a conference.  He had some time on his hands in the morning so off he went to some of his favorite haunts in Balboa Park.  It turns out about 10,000 others had the same idea.


Outside the Reuben E, Fleet Space Center at the park a whole troop of astronomers and wannabe star gazers gathered to watch the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN.  Everyone got into the act, both young and old.  It was lots of fun watching people watching.




Of course it wasn’t a total eclipse way down south in San Diego.  It was only about a 65% eclipse and the sky didn’t turn dark, birds did not fly around in circles, and nothing terrible happened.  It was still pretty cool.

A lot of folks used pieces of cardboard to poke a hole and watch the eclipse on the ground (See first photo).  It was considered bad form to walk on someone’s private eclipse.


One pretty neat special effect Kongo noticed was the projection of the eclipse on the ground as sunlight filtered through the trees.  As you can see in the photo above there are dozens and dozens of little crescent suns on the sidewalk.  They shimmered when a light breeze blew.

The astronomy clubs of San Diego were on hand to pass out sun filters hapless folks like Kongo that showed up without some cool looking goggles.  They also built larger projection media.


Kongo tried shooting straight through the lens but only saw the eclipse as a little speck of stray light to the right and down a bit from the sun.  The darkness of the sky was all about camera compensation because it really didn’t get any darker.


When the world returned to normal Kongo wandered down to the Japanese Tea Garden to see what had changed in the past couple of years.  It turned out that they had finished a bunch of construction in the lower garden that was maturing rather nicely.




So, all in all, a very nice day.  Mrs. Kongo, who had tagged along with the monkey, was out shopping with friends.  Duh.  Like the end of the world was not going to stop her from getting a last minute deal on a little wooly zippered sheep coin purse.  Kongo thought about sticking a miniature sheep liver inside so he could do some divinations (see Liver Read For Dummies) in conjunction with the eclipse but his timing was way off.

Travel safe.  Have fun!



7 thoughts on “Staring at the Sun

  1. Love the pictures! We saw the eclipse in Jackson, Wyoming (post coming soon). The monkey needs to make plans for the next one in 7 years. I can’t express how amazing totality was! I read the hype was worth it, but couldn’t really imagine. Totally true!

      1. Richard practiced and bought assorted gear for 2 months before the eclipse. We are in awe how it all came out, plus we made new friends on that mountaintop. So worth it!

  2. Hello Kongo, many thanks for your recent like on my post about our travel plans to Canada and Western USA. I clearly remember your posts on San Diego and how fabulous it looked. I think it will be a bridge too far for us this time. However, I was wondering if you had driven the route from Seattle to San Francisco and whether you could point me to any relevant posts? all the best Gwen

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