Eclipse Eclipsed.

I spent the last 24 hours out in Sheshan, in southwest Shanghai, where I was covering the eclipse for a dispatch that should be out shortly. Below, an image of a few of the several hundred observers who gathered atop the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (built by the Jesuits in the 1890s, and operated by them until the 1950s). In the background, the Sheshan Basilica. In any case, don’t be fooled by the photo: the crowd enjoyed perhaps 15 minutes of clear skies, at the beginning of the eclipse. By the time we’d become accustomed to watching the event, a downpour started. As one gentleman put it: “The eclipse has been eclipsed.”

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But I’m not complaining!  Rain or not, it was a remarkable sensation, being plunged into darkness for five minutes at mid-morning. And, best of all – experiencing the rapid return of daylight. It felt as if someone had just turned on the overhead lights. I’m hooked – when’s the next one? More shortly …

[UPDATE: “Shortly” is now … “Eclipse at Sheshan Hill” is now up at the Atlantic.]