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Chasing the total eclipse across the Pacific Ocean

By Frank Close   January 2013

Total solar eclipse: “like a black sunflower with the most delicate of silver petals”

What is the most beautiful natural phenomenon that you have ever seen? A brilliant rainbow set against a distant storm, or a blood red sky just after sunset, perhaps? But anyone who has experienced the diamond ring effect that heralds the start of a total solar eclipse will agree it puts all others in the shade.

About once every 18 months, the moon passes directly between the sun and earth. As the moon moves slowly across…

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