You will need an MP3 player
to hear this
recording - you can get them free over the Internet.
Right click on the image
below and click
save target as.
(ecl99.mp3 - 1.14MB)
Chris O'Byrne brought a small tape-recorder with
the eclipse in 1999. It was turned on about 3 minutes before totality,
and off again not long after totality ended. This file contains that
You can hear the excitement build in the first
minutes, culminating in a massive outpouring of joy and emotion as the
lunar shadow engulfs us. When totality ends, 2 min 22 sec later, there
is another outpouring of joy as the sunlight returns.
There were two reasons why I brought the
with me. The first reason was because I was just after writing a piece
of software for my Psion handheld computer to predict the eclipse. You
can hear my Psion beeping in the recording at strategic times during
the eclipse. I wanted to see how accurate my software was - the plan
was to shout "second contact" and "third contact" into the tape
recorder, which was lying beside my Psion, and I would later analyse
the recording to see how close the beeps came to reality.
The second reason was because I had heard that
a bit crazy during an eclipse, and I wanted to have a recording of it
if it happened in Bulgaria. Little did I know that I would be going so
crazy myself that I would forget to shout "second contact" and "third
contact" as my plan called for! However, you can clearly hear that I
shouted "diamond ring" right at the instant of the last "beep" from my