Total Solar Eclipse of 1994

Total Solar Eclipse from La Lava, Bolivia

In late October of 1994, we arrived in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia to witness one of nature's rarest and most spectacular celestial events: a Total Eclipse of the Sun. After spending several days getting accustomed to the thin air at 12,000 to 14,000 ft. we began our eclipse adventure in the wee hours of the morning with a three hour bus ride on dirt roads hugging the edge of a 4,000 ft. canyon. As the sun rose, we sipped a couple of cups of the local coca tea, and then waited patently as the moon slid slowly over the morning sun. Our viewing site was a flat arid plane near the village of La Lava, with rocks scattered uniformly in all directions, a landscape looking very similar to the landing site of the first Viking spacecraft on Mars. But one glance skyward was a vivid reminder that this was not Mars. As the last glimmer of sunlight died away, the thin, bright glow of the sun's inner atmosphere quickly gave way to reveal the magnificent outer-corona; shining ever so much more beautifully than can be captured in the photographic sequence shown above.

On Location in Bolivia, Nov. 3, 1994.


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Images and Text: Copyright © 1996, Christopher Galfo.