1984 ANULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE IN USA RESULTS 2022-07-21T17:09:16-05:00


by Paul D. Maley, NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society

                                                                                                                          Baily’s Beads at central eclipse

I drove from Houston, Texas to Atlanta Georgia to see what had to have been one of the most spectacular of all solar eclipses. This one lasted 14 seconds and featured Baily’s Beads surrounding the Moon at central eclipse. It was truly a magical experience.

                                                                                                               Driving map courtesy of MapQuest

                                                                                             The very narrow path over Georgia

It took many hours to make the long drive over the interstate highways. The weather was predicted to be perfect and from the National Weather Service image below you can easily see that it was.

                                                                                                         Clouds had pulled eastward away from the Atlanta area before the eclipse

The path width was only 7km/4.2 miles and so it was critical to find a secure location for my observation site. What better place than amongst the dead? I found a cemetery conveniently located adjacent to the central line: The Westview Cemetery was not precisely on the center but close enough.

                                                                             Westview Cemetery. Note the blue eclipse centerline almost crossing the property.

When I arrived there were only a very few observers located there. One of them attempted to project the solar crescent onto the side of a stone building at the site.

                                                                                                                    Eclipse projection using one’s hand

I brought my Celestron 8 which was transportable in my car at the time. My site was within easy view of many headstones.

                                                                       Setting up without disturbing the dead

The eclipsed progressed under clear sky with no wind.

                                                                                                                      Partial image phase 1

                                                                                                      Partial image phase 2

Note that some of the images have been processed nearly 40 years after the eclipse for presentation on the web page. The images below are presented in no particular order but intended to show the detail that could be seen as the maximum of the eclipse occurred.