For many years, I’ve created diagrams and star charts of eclipses for Astronomy magazine. But on Sunday, I had the opportunity to experience one live for the first time.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, was a spot where people from all over the world, including myself, gathered to watch the annular solar eclipse of 2012. What a splendid and strange event it proved to be!
Many of us in the park moved up to Bryce Point to view the eclipse. This narrow, jutting strip of land plummets on all sides but one, and for miles you see this glorious, vast canyon filled with striated red and white protrusions. Around 6 p.m., a crowd started to gather, assembling telescopes alongside the rocky bank.
My husband and I caught a ride back to the park lodge with two amateur astronomers. One of them was planning to go into the canyon later in the evening to take even more pictures of the sky. The night sky at Bryce Canyon is heaven for astronomers. It is dazzlingly clear, filled with millions of shining lights, and begs for exploration.