Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lovecraft would love to see this


The story I'd like to read:

119 year old Lovecraft, now world's oldest living man, sees spectacular eclipse.

Onboard a cruise ship, surrounded by friends, the still spry Lovecraft peered through the special telescope at the haloed sun. He stated, "Quite a spectacle despite the fishy odor coming from the sea. Reminds me of those days long ago when I'd write about eldritch gods eating our star, and black fathomless creatures erupting from beneath the waves."


However, here is the more prosaic story...

Ring of fire: Indian Ocean to see solar eclipse
Fri Jan 23, 9:58 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – A few lucky people in the Indian Ocean will be treated to a rare event on Monday when an annular solar eclipse will transform the Sun into a dark disc with a blazing ring-shaped corona around its rim.

In solar eclipses, the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow on the terrestrial surface. In an annular eclipse, a tiny shift in distance that results from celestial mechanics means the Moon does not completely cover the Sun's face, as it does in a total eclipse.

Instead, for those directly under the alignment, the Moon covers most of the Sun's surface, and a ring-like crown of solar light blazes from the edge of the disk.

For those watching from the fringe of the track, the Sun is partially obscured, as if a bite has been taken out of it.

According to veteran NASA eclipse-watcher Fred Espenak, the total eclipse track will run from west to east on Monday from 0606 GMT to 0952 GMT.

It will traverse the Indian Ocean and western Indonesia before petering out just short of Mindanao.

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