How To Make The Most Of Solar Eclipse In Barcelona
As you look around the crowd on the tiny patch of ground you have claimed the hubbub seems to rise in intensity. You can see that eyes, telescopes and cameras are all turning towards the sky as if drawn by the will of a master hypnotist.
Then the noise levels abruptly drop to almost nothing as the celestial spectacle begins plays out above. Quickly you put on your eclipse glasses and join the throng in the adoring gaze. This is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
How to prepare
It is vital that you do not look at the sun directly at any time during the eclipse. Eclipse glasses are probably your best bet and will probably be on sale throughout the city but make sure you get yours early; you don’t want to be caught short when everywhere has sold out. Proper eclipse glasses usually have a thin layer of aluminium, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces which protect your eyes, so make sure yours are the real deal.
Alternatively, a slightly more scientific way to observe the eclipse is to make a very basic pinhole camera. Get two pieces of white card and poke a small, neat hole in the middle of one of them. This next bit will take some practise so it is worth having a go beforehand. If you hold the card with the hole above but parallel to the other piece of card about 30cm apart you should find that a picture of the sun appears on the lower card. You will be able to amaze your friends with your technical knowledge and even take great looking pictures easily with your phone or camera.
Where to go
Unless the weather is truly awful probably the best place to go would be the beach or a park – like Park Guell. It will be helpful to have space to move around and the city is likely to be packed with astro-tourists and eclipse chasers. Pick your spot early and make sure you get there around 11am local time as the eclipse is due to start around 12pm. Why not take a picnic and share the experience with some friends? And don’t give up because of a bit of cloud you never know when the skies will clear.
What to expect
This is a once in a lifetime moment and scientifically speaking this eclipse is an exceedingly rare one. This solar eclipse is a partial one which means that the shadow of the moon will only cross some of the sun’s disc so effects like Bailey’s Beads and the diamond ring will not be visible in Barcelona.
Unless you are prepared to lug a few thousand Euros worth of camera gear around with you there is not much point in trying to get a “photo of the year” quality image! You can use your phone or camera to take pictures; they are likely to be a bit over exposed but will still record the moment. Turn off the flash, use auto-exposure settings and keep the camera as still as possible. The best way is to get a reasonable pic is to use the pinhole method described above. Don’t forget to take photos of the environment around you at different times during the eclipse as these may tell a better story and include people and their reactions to the event. And remember don’t to miss out on the experience just to take that “perfect” shot!