1998, Malaysia

Annular Eclipse in Vanuatu

A report from Prof. Matthew Spriggs, an anthropologist from Australia
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Dear Jay, I am afraid the digital photos we tried of the eclipse were a failure, but Jacob Kapere of the Vanuatu National Museum Film Unit (Fax 678-265900 apparently got some good footage. I was up in Maewo Island and doing all that stuff with the paper and pinpricks, when someone looked up and saw it all, quickly followed by everyone else I am afraid. There were two layers of cloud. When one dissipated one could see what was going on quite clearly but not very brightly (I hope!) so I don’t think too much eye damage was caused. We put out your press release but I don’t know if it was covered in detail in the two vanuatu newspapers, the Vanuatu Weekly and the Trading Post, as I was not in town to see them. We organised an astronomer now anthropologist from Cambridge, called Carlos, to explain it all on TV and how to make the pinhole camera and that went down well, being shown on the Friday night. There was at least one letter in the Vanuatu Weekly the week after, which I think I have somewhere. The Vanuatu Weekly has a web edition and that may well have the story up there.
Thanks for your help in this,
Matthew Spriggs

Professor Matthew Spriggs
Head of Department,
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology,
Faculty of Arts, A.D. Hope Building,
Australian National University,
Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
Telephone: (02) 6279-8229, international 61-2-6279 8229
Fax: (02) 6249-2711, international 61-2-6249 2711