A solar eclipse was observed on July 22, 2009. Although it was slightly cloudy in Hiroshima, the process of obscuration was observed. It was slightly dimmed around at 11:00, when 86% of the diameter of the sun was obscured at the maximum eclipse.
The year 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first telescopic astronomical observation by Galileo. It is also 40th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon by Apollo 11. I was four years old at that time. I started to go to kindergarten that year, and July 21, when the live television was broadcast from the moon, was the beginning of the first "summer vacation" in my life. I remember that I played in the garden of my house since I could not understand the voyage of Apollo 11 well, and my mother called me to watch the television.
Solar eclipse on July 22, 2009
The sun on the process of obscuration at 10:18, 10:43, and 10:59 at the almost maximum eclipse, from the left. The process of reappearance could not be observed since cloud covered the whole sky.
I observed the solar eclipse in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. The above photo shows the scene around the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in the park at the maximum eclipse.
The shape of the obscured sun is observed from the sunlight through the trees at the time of eclipse, because of the principle of pin-hole cameras. I tried to take its photo this time, but I could not since the sunlight was scattered by the cloud.
Aerospace exploration and the glory of the Soviet Union
The memorial museum of cosmonautics (Мемориальный музей космонавтики) in Moscow. The shape of the monument resembles the Soviet Pavillion in the EXPO'70 in Osaka*). The photo in the center shows the statue of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a pioneer of the astronautic theory. I appear in the right with a space suit. I was 25 years old at that time.
It is heard that the exhibition hall of the museum has been largely expanded**), while the monument still remains.
The memorial museum of cosmonautics was nearby the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy (Выставка Достижений Народного Хозяйства, ВДНХ/VDNKh) in the north east part of the City of Moscow. The photo in the right shows the entrance gate of the VDNKh, and the right shows the Fountain "Friendship of nations (Дружба народов)"at the center of the VDNKh. The communist goverment seemed to succeed the tradition of European dynasties to show their authority by gorgeous constructions like the Palace of Versailles.
The photo in the left shows Gagarin Monument at Gagarin Square in Moscow. Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut of the world, has always been a hero in the Soviet era and also after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The monument is of course alive now. The photo in the right shows a calendar featuring Gagarin, which I bought at a kiosk in front of the memorial museum of cosmonautics. The text in the left of the photo of Gagarin says "April 12, 1961 — the first flight of human being to the space."