A Most Extraordinary Eclipse - Early Stages

Earth eclipses the Sun

Painting Completed 2001
18 x 20 inches, Textured Acrylic with Moondust on Aircraft Plywood

As Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon, and I were speeding toward Earth in our command module, we were treated to a marvelous sight never before seen by any humans. We were seeing our home planet Earth eclipse our own star, the Sun. As we were about 27,000 nautical miles out, the Earth moved to completely obscure the disk of the Sun. I reported to mission control "...the atmosphere is illuminated completely around the Earth..." Pete added, "It has blues and pinks in it, but instead of being banded, it's segmented. I don't know why."

It was hard to see the dark Earth at first, but as our eyes adjusted, we could see we were over the Indian Ocean just off the eastern most tip of Africa moving very fast, almost 25,000 miles per hour. And right down in the center of the disk of the Earth was a bright round light. It seemed to move rapidly across the clouds and water. What it was we didn't know. Only later would astronaut Rusty Schweickart tell us that strange bright moving light was a reflection of the same full moon, which was directly behind us, we had walked on only four days ago.