ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Total Eclipse 1999

Updated on December 31, 2012
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.

On August 11th 1999 the last full solar eclipse of the millennium occurred. For those who don't know, a Solar Eclipse is an event during which the new Moon passes directly between the Earth and Sun, temporarily blocking the Sun's light; the day turns to night for approximately two minutes.

In England, we were very excited to view this event. It was predicted that the best place to view the eclipse would be Cornwall, where the full ecliptic shadow would first hit land. Our home was in Guernsey, in the English Channel. We had planned to camp in Cornwall for five days, and had booked a camp ground for the occasion. We were meeting six of our friends (who lived in London) at the camp. We sailed over from Guernsey to England on the ferry and took a train down to Cornwall, which is a beautiful county at the south west tip of England.

We arrived and reunited with our friends, set up camp and had a great evening talking around the camp fire. The eclipse was set to commence the next morning at approximately 11.00am. There were hundreds of people who had gathered in Cornwall to see the event. There were all kinds of memorabilia such as T-Shirts saying, "I was in Cornwall for the millennium eclipse ," and pin-hole glasses used to view the eclipse. (It is dangerous for the eyes to look directly at the sun for any extended period of time).

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to view the actual eclipse due to thick low cloud in the whole of Cornwall, but this is a description of what happened. About 15 minutes before the total eclipse, daylight became weak. The crowd bustled with excitement. 5 minutes from totality the sky turned a dark gray from the west and darkness slowly advanced until the whole sky was a dark, cold gray.

As though the Almighty were turning off a dimmer switch, the light faded completely over a period of 2 or 3 seconds. Then a hush came over the crowd as total darkness approached, and an eeriness which made the hairs stand up on the back of my arms. A dog howled in the distance, (obviously confused by the lack of light).

After about 2 minutes the sky began to lighten in the west. Light returned to the clouds, advancing up across the sky. Then suddenly light appeared on the ground and wiped away the darkness, like a giant hand was operating a magic eraser. General light slowly increased for many minutes more. There were ripples of loud cheers from the crowds.

Despite the disappointment at not being able to get a clear view of the Eclipse, we were in a party mode and numerous dances broke out in the streets. We had a great time for the rest of our stay and have many lasting memories.

When we got back home to Guernsey, we found out it had been a clear, sunny day and Guernsey was reported to have been one of the best places in Europe to view the event! Still, we had a great five days camping with our friends and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

PS, I still have the T. Shirt!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi Tusitala Tom, I enjoyed your experience of the total eclipse - sounds wonderful to be alone in the Aussie outback like that.. thanks for your comments!

    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hi, Brightforyou.

      I experienced a total eclipse of the sun whilst wandering alone around a 60,000 acre sheep station in outback Australia in 1953. Not a cloud in the sky; eight-eighths of blue, yet suddenly it gradually got darker. Didn't notice it at first. Then the birds and insects gradually ceased their chatter and chirping. I looked up. Saw the whole thing. Had no idea about the Sun's coroner being dangerous to the eyes. As it was, I was unscathed. But I'll never forget it. As the sun emerged, it was as if a new day was dawning as far as those birds and insects were concerned.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi Gus - thanks for letting me know about Mars..I'll definitely check it out - I'll google it to find out when its occurring and may be inspired to write a hub!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      8 years ago from USA

      Howdy BFY - There are some big doings with Mars this month. (closest to Earth in many years, etc.) Perhaps you might want to check that out and do another great hub (like this one) about it.

      Gus :-)))

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi G. Tea-cher, no I didn't know - thanks for the information, I'll check out your hub. Thanks for stopping by!

    • green tea-cher profile image

      green tea-cher 

      8 years ago

      What an exciting trip! You obviously felt it even if you didn't see it. Did you know by studying a perfect solar eclipse in 1919 astronomers confirmed that gravity bends light, which led to the acceptance of Einstein's theory of relativity? (See my hub The Earth is Unique And It Was Made For Man.)I think it is fantastic that you were a part of such a unique event. Thanks for sharing.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks you guys... Yes, I definitely had a great time in Cornwall - who cares about the silly-old eclipse anyway!

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 

      8 years ago from Florida

      What an exciting experience! I envy you. I am sure you had more fun in Cornwall than if you had stayed in Guernsey.

    • petermdhart profile image


      8 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      You should have stayed in Guernsey!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)