Saturday, August 19, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse March 7, 1970

The newspaper the next day
There will be a total eclipse of the sun on Monday which will be visible by most of North America. In Tampa, the totality will be about 91% which ain't bad. This eclipse has sentimental value for me for I once witnessed and filmed a total solar eclipse when I was 13 years old in Newport News Virginia on March 7, 1970. I remember it well.

What I clearly remember was being able to see the stars in the middle of the day, with the planet Venus being prominent in the "night sky." I remember it well as I was recording it with a rather sophisticated piece of equipment I had made myself. Face it. I got a better shot than the local TV stations did.

I had rigged a photography device using a used cereal box and a smoked pane of glass. In the box was a 8mm film camera which I shot incrementally and it worked perfectly. I was able to record the totality of the eclipse and the events leading up to it.

1970 Eclipse - The black dot goes right over Newport News...how lucky were we!
The local TV stations had taken their remote set ups to North Carolina because the weather forecast was better. It was supposed to overcast that day in the tidewater area. However, it was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. This allowed for a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the total eclipse.

Where that film is today, I have no idea. I only hope a family member has held on to that historical record.

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