A Most Extraordinary Eclipse - Late Stages

Earth eclipses the Sun

Painting Completed 2001
18 x 18 inches, Textured Acrylic with Moondust on Aircraft Plywood

As Pete's, Dick's and my eyes continued to adapt to the dark Earth encircled by beautiful glowing atmosphere, we could see one half of the Earth laid out just like in an atlas or geography book, Africa and Saudi Arabia to the left, India above, then Burma and maybe even Japan near the far right horizon.

But there were pulses and flashes of light. And they seemed to be aligned in a gently moving arc from about 8 o'clock to 2 o'clock. What were we seeing?

Dick Gordon said, "It looks sort of the same as lightning flashes down inside thunderstorms when we flew over them in our T-38 airplanes." Indeed, that is what we were seeing. As we studied the Earth carefully, we saw that the most active locations were along the equator. Violent thunderstorms that had built up during the daylight hours were now dissipating as this side of our planet Earth rotated into darkness. I told of our experience to Jacques Cousteau and he said, "It was as if the Earth was wearing a necklace of diamonds." No wonder he narrated his own television film productions.