Solar disappearing act
March 2006: Bodies in the solar system are constantly on the move. A pair of eclipses just skims the surface of the many dynamic events visible this month.
One of nature's grandest spectacles, a total eclipse of the Sun, greets observers in the Mediterranean region March 29. With all the fascinating things to watch the corona, Baily's beads, shadow bands, and projected solar crescents it's easy to miss the physiological effects on the body. The rapidly plunging light levels just before totality often trigger a weird mixture of excitement, panic, and foreboding. As soon as sunlight returns, unbridled elation and quiet personal reflection are normal. It's different for each person, and from one eclipse to another.