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Total Eclipse of 11 August 1999, Salzburg, Austria

We travelled to Salzburg Austria to view the eclipse, and were very fortunate. All around us the clouds were quite solid. In fact, it was raining early in the morning. I had been watching the news from about 5AM (the eclipse was midday), and it was pouring rain in Stuttgart and Munich, which were to the west of us. The TV broadcasts of those panoramic cameras at the various resorts and in the big cities are a big help, especially in getting a feel for the overall weather patterns in the days before the eclipse.

Sure enough, it looks pretty grim and overcast, about an hour and 20 minutes before totality.

We had strategized that we might want to drive to somewhere a hole would appear, but, a hole looked like it would move over us (based on earlier day's observations of thunderstorms moving over from Bavaria). So we gambled and stayed put at our hotel, the Schoene Aussicht, on a hill just outside town. At first contact, as the moon began to move over the sun, there was broken cleared coverage, which rapidly cleared to a hole over most of the sky.

It was a good guess and the clouds begain to clear, as the watchers gathered on our hilltop. Photo about 50 minutes before totality.
After anxiously waiting, totality occurred right on schedule, starting with a nice "diamond ring". The lens (a 70-210 zoom with a 2x teleconverter) has a lot of flare, causing some ghost images.
By now, I've gotten pretty blase about pictures of the sun during totality (others take better quality images), but, one of the neatest things is the quality of the light and the glow around the horizon. It's not obvious in the picture, but the distant mountains are actually still in the sunlight, even though we are in the shadow.
But, here are the obligatory totality photos, at different exposures. The one to the left has more prominence detail, the one to the right better detail on the corona
After totality, the sunlight comes back, and people rush on their way. A few more looks through the filter at the mostly covered sun, and it is off to lunch.

A few hours later, we were back to the usual Salzburg weather: Afternoon thunderstorms. Checking the newspapers the following day, it looks like Salzburg was one of the few places in Europe which had really clear weather from first contact through totality. Pity the poor folk in Cornwall, who got to watch it raining.


All photos and text copyright 1999, James Lux