Enjoying an Eclipse in Lockdown
(June 21, 2020)
On June 21, 2020, nuns of the Jangchup Choeling, Dolmaling, Geden Choeling, Jamyang Choeling, and Jangsemling nunneries gathered on their terraces and gardens to view the solar eclipse. Amongst them were nuns who had decided to tap into the excitement of the eclipse, and made the safe viewing equipment being used. The nuns members of our first all-nun Leadership Cohort. They trained for a month under Vivian White, of the Astronomy Society of the Pacific, learning hands-on activities to safely observe the eclipse. Working in groups of four to ten, the nuns made models of the earth, moon, and sun for size comparison and distances. Confined to their nunneries owing to COVID-19, the nuns took to social media to share images and videos of their projects with one another. For many of the participants, the events provided a scientific perspective on a phenomenon that also features in their tradition.