Yeah, the title is cheesy, but a solar eclipse is also a surprisingly emotional event. Last Tuesday (July 2nd), my coworkers and I (and another friend) watched as the entire city of La Serena, Chile erupted in cheers when the moon blocked out the sun for 2 minutes and 4 seconds.
It’s a strange thing — the world becomes dark and cold, animals emphatically voice their confusion, and shadows look just plain weird. In the city of La Serena, the event had an incredibly unifying effect: everyone was talking incessantly about the eclipse, standing in crowded plazas, overcoming language barriers, and bonding over stories. On occasions like this I can understand why religion was such a powerful thing in the olden days before people understood the mechanisms behind various astronomical events. It’s a little sobering to realize how much we depend on the sun, especially when it appears to not be in the sky at a time it should definitely be there. And eclipses (eclipsi?) are also just SO FREAKIN COOL to witness in person.
I wasn’t on the summit for the event, but my boss was (hence the first picture in this post), and he created a super fun time-lapse of the eclipse over the observatory.
Apparently there’s another one in Southern Chile next year, and I’m seriously considering making the trek, especially if I’m living in Chile at the time. Nature is wonderful and mysterious and powerful and compelling. Hence why I love the mountains.