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August
1999

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.

Budha

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Totality Image
For months the news had been full of speculation and advice on health matters, Traffic movements, etc. This was all in preparation for a natural phenomena which began at sunrise, on the 11th of August, 250 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. This phenomena was of course the total eclipse of the sun.

The photograph, which was taken by Roger Banfield on a Digital Video Camera, shows people waiting for the big event, meanwhile guests at Star Castle were on the battlements enjoying an Eclipse Party.

Totality Image
Dawn broke with Scilly under heavy cloud, this continued through the morning. Out in the Atlantic Ocean the shadow of the moon was speeding towards the islands and it seemed unlikely that we would witness any part of the eclipse, even so, ever optimistic people continued to gather into groups at the various vantage points. Suddenly, to the delight of the people in Scilly, there was a break in the clouds, perfectly timed and placed, allowing a good view of the act of totality which lasted 2 min. 4 secs.
Total Totality Image
The first people on land to see the eclipse were Mr L. Astley and Mr P.N. Kneebone, two technicians working on the Bishop Rock Lighthouse. The darkness caused by the moon’s shadow activated the daylight response system and the beam continued to shine until daylight returned.

The shadow also caused wildlife some confusion with rabbits running for their burrows and the seagulls expressing it by a cacophony of sound. Throughout the period of totality flashes from the flashguns of cameras could be seen all over the islands, resembling twinkling fairy lights. The suddenness with which daylight returned gave rise to that child like request, "Can we do it again?"

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