Astrophotography by Philipp Salzgeber




Wolfurt / Austria


 Total Solar Eclipse August 11, 1999
We nearly made it... (was: We didn´t make it...) think positive!

The night before the eclipse my wife Claudia, our daughter Marlene, my friend Mitch (who came from Norway) stayed at the house of my uncle in Meitingen, north of Augsburg near the center-line. On the morning of the eclipse we decided to drive to the eastern part of southern Bavaria.

We found a nice hill in the Village Rott near Rosenheim. The sky was rather cloudy and some of the darker clouds delivered curtains of rain. During the partial phase such a rain-cloud passed, and we had to cover our equipment and ourselves.

After a while we realized another rain-cloud was coming our way and totality would be a wet mess.

We decided to move. After driving for about 20min. we stopped with eight minutes to go before totality. But the clouds were faster than we realized. After some glimpses of the thin crescent sun a thick cloud covered it...

Because we watched totality under a thick cloud it was very dark. The eclipse wind was rather strong, and at the end of totality a very heavy rain started to fall. We got soaked to the bones while trying to keep our equipment dry...

While we missed the wonderful corona (I remember it fondly form Hawaii 1991). The darkness, wind, coldness made quite an impression on us!

My parents and many friends of mine had success and reported extraordinary experiences. They were spread from Reykjavik (Iceland) to the Austrian-Hungarian border. Matthias sent a detailed report about the observation of shadow bands at third contact. My parents saw the moon´s shadow racing toward them. Together, they experienced about everything that is to see and feel during an eclipse: wind, coldness, clouds going away before totality :-), clouds coming before totality :-(, Bailey´s beads, diamond ring, rain shower, traffic jam,...

Their observation reports make me feel a little less depressed about my own experience. But hey, I was lucky to have seen totality through a hole in the clouds at Kona/Hawaii in 1991, so for now I am even with the weather-god.

These images were all made with a Sony TR2200CCD Hi8 Video Camera

Click on the thumbnails to see larger images

Claudia, Marlene& MItch Claudia, Marlene and Mitch at our final location.
The partial phase as we saw it... This is a montage of images of the partial phase
Mitch making a panorama picture in the darkness Mitch taking a panoramic image with his digital camera. This and the next pictures show how dark it was during totality. The camcorder I used for these shots is rated for 2 lux. I digitzed the images using the Snappy frame grabber without further image manipulation.
My wife Claudia looking at a thick black cloud during totality my wife Claudia trying to look past the thick black cloud covering the sun...
Crazy people driving around during totality Even during totality some weird people kept driving :-O
View of the horizon The horizon during totality
The rain following totality After totality a heavy rain shower soaked us and our equipment...
Marlene playing with eclipse goggles My daughter marlene playing with eclipse goggles.
and destroying them...
sunspot group This is an image of a sunspot group I made with our Sony Hi8 Video Camcorder looking into the eyepiece of the telesope on August 5, 1999, while testing my eclipse equipment.

All images Philipp Salzgeber

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