Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Alan Fiala - Eclipse Chaser

I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Alan Fiala in the Soviet Union in 1981. He had joined our eclipse chasing group going to Bratsk, in Siberia. This was an unusual time for an American to be in the USSR and even stranger was this humped scientist from the US Naval Observatory. The customs and immigration people were not amused by his video equipment labeled property of the US Navy. His carefully prepared maps showing his desired set up locations were viewed with suspicion.

Setting up the video recording camera in 1981 in Tasmania for the Annular Solar Eclipse

Dr Alan Fiala attempted to verify the size of the Sun using Solar Eclipses. He was attempting to detect small changes in the solar diameter by timing eclipses and 'beads' from the North or South edge of the eclipse path.

During the eclipse in the USSR he attempted to deviate from the plans of our Soviet hosts. While he was not with our group where we set up, he did not make it to the edge of the path that time.

Alan Fiala's Eclipse Log
Obituary NASA ADS

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