Remembering a full solar eclipse

Full solar eclipse as seen from Manila, The Philippines, on February 22, 1998.

While on assignment in Manila, the Philippines, in 1998, I had the privilege of seeing and photographing a full solar eclipse as it swooped over the Far East.

The sky went dark in the afternoon as several of us gathered on the roof of the Diamond Hotel, not far from the U.S. Embassy.

I shot the image on film with a Nikon F5, a 400mm lens and a 2X tele-extender to use for the occasion, which gave me an 800mm view as the moon passed fully over the sun, giving us an incredible view of a total solar eclipse.

It was a time I cherish and a chance to view history.

A solar eclipse will pass close enough to us Monday to see some of the effects, even though neither Floyd, nor Southwestern, Virginia, will be in the “total eclipse path.”  It will take a drive of more than 100 miles to see the full eclipse but what will see Monday will be something incredible.

A 70-mile path will slice through America from Oregon to South Carolina.  In Floyd and surrounding counties, the skies will begin to darken after 1 p.m. and lighten back up around 4.  We should see a 90-percent eclipse, which means the skies will darken some but it won’t be as dark as night.  The moon will be at peak coverage of the sun in our area around 2:40 p.m.

Please, remember to not look directly at the sun without heavily tinted lenses or an eye shield at any point of the eclipse.  I used heavy filters on my lens in Manila 19 years ago to shoot the full eclipse as well as special sunglasses.

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