Midnight Sun Eclipse

Yesterday we had quite a special show in Tromsø: an eclipse of the midnight sun! For a while, it looked like clouds would spoil the show though. Even an hour before it started, I was contemplating staying at home as it looked hopeless. But we decided to try our luck, and go up the cable car anyway. Eelke and Roy joined us, and we brought a picknick blanket, warm drinks and chocolate. When we got to the top of the cable car, it was actually raining… Not long after some sunbeams starting to appear, and we got a bit more optimistic. Within half an hour, the sky cleared up more than enough to be able to watch the eclipse, how lucky!!

20 minutes before the eclipse started, some beams of sunlight appeared, and we thought we *might* be able to get a glimpse 5 minutes later, the sky was clearing very fast! We started to get excited :)

Paul had brought his welding helmet to be able to look at the sun – it worked brilliantly! I brought a dvd which also worked fine.

Paul had brought his welding helmet to be able to look at the sun :D Eelke and Roy looking at their pictures

At 22:45 we noticed a small “bite” out of the sun, which quickly grew bigger as the moon moved in front of the sun. It’s quite hard to get good photos, you have to underexpose so much that you can’t have much foreground in the images. I also tried taking a photo through the welding helmet, which worked quite well!

You have to underexpose a LOT to get photos of the sun, but here you can clearly see the moon moving before the sun The view through Paul's welding helmet - excellent!

At 23:30, the eclipse was at its maximum. With the naked eye, it was hard to see anything. You could kind of notice – out of the corner of your eye – that a patch of the sun was missing, but I didn’t notice it got darker. The sun is of course quite low around midnight and the light is very soft and yellow anyway. The photo on the left (below) is very unrealistic, with a halo caused by my lens or the filter, and a “second” sun upside down underneath the sun – but I think it made quite a spectacular image :D

Close to the maximum of the eclipse, around 23:30 I think the filter on my lens was causing this halo, and a funny small sun reflection appeared underneath the sun. This is not what it looked like to our eyes, but I love this strange photo

Just before midnight, the southbound Hurtigruten arrives in Tromsø. They must have had a nice view too :)

The southbound Hurtigruten arriving in Tromsø The Hurtigruten arriving to the town centre

There were lots of people watching the eclipse, both locals and tourists. There were actually quite a lot of Dutch people up there, and one older couple started talking to us. They were on a long holiday in Norway and had just been to the North Cape. They offered to take our photo, it turned out really nice :)

The four of us, photo taken by some friendly Dutch tourists :)

The cable car stayed open until 2:00, an hour longer than usual. We spent a pleasant hour sitting in the cafe enjoying the view with a warm drink. What a night! :D

3 Responses to “Midnight Sun Eclipse”

  1. Glad you caught it, Hanneke! I took some photos (the eclipse was supposed to be visible here at noon) but our sun was so bright and none of my images show the *bite* out of the sun. Folks at higher latitudes managed to capture some images despite it being mid-day. I guess Fairbanks was just a bit too low for good viewing.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Erin says:

    Looks like we missed a great show, but after 17 hours of air travel and layovers, we kind of conked out when we finally arrived in Tromso on July 1.

    I look forward to following along with your blog … thanks to Susan Stevenson who shared a link with me.

    • Hanneke says:

      Hi Erin,
      The eclipse was on the 1st of June, so you didn’t miss out :) but I can imagine you must have been exhausted by the time you reached Tromsø! I’m flying to Seattle in a couple of weeks, and not looking forward to the longgggg journey.

      Anyway, looks like you’ve been on a very exciting trip! I will follow your blog and looking forward to more pictures :)