As you may well be aware, this morning there was a pretty spectacular solar eclipse (sólmyrkvi) visible throughout Northern (and Northern-ish) Europe. Word has it that this eclipse was, in fact, “the best in years” and lucky for us here in Iceland (including the thousands of tourists who apparently made a special journey here just to see the eclipse first-hand), the weather was wonderful: bright, windless, and super sunny.
School children around the country were given free pairs of super-cool eclipse-viewing glasses, and these glasses were also sold (very cheaply) to the rest of us in bookstores and malls. Mark and I actually ordered ours online and got them sent through the mail—just in time, I guess, because they were all sold out shortly after.
Come this morning, everything was rather festive. Tons of people gathered in front of the university’s main building; there were even people standing on the roof of the library. Mark and I and a few friends met up outside of one of the other campus buildings, and it felt very much like a kind of chilly early-morning picnic. The eclipse itself was super cool, but perhaps equally enjoyable was watching all the hubbub. Not to mention that this burst of sun-drenched outdoor time left me downright giddy afterwards.
I don’t have the sort of technology required to have taken pictures of the eclipse itself, but I did take pictures of our own sólmyrkvi partý (we came very well prepared…coffee and lawn chairs and the whole deal). If you want to see less people and more solar glory, however, see the roughly two hour eclipse compressed into a 90 second video, thanks to a special solar-viewer that was built by a member of a local astronomy association and placed on the roof of the Morgunblaðið newspaper office.