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Here's what we were watching, reading and listening to - the last time there was a solar eclipse

Come with us on a journey through time and space…

AS YOU MAY have heard, there’s a solar eclipse happening later. Up to 90 per cent of sunlight will be blocked out across Ireland between 8.20am and 10.30am.

The phenomenon happens when the Moon passses between the Earth and the Sun – obscuring the Sun’s image for Earth-bound viewers.

It’s the first time people across Europe, North Africa parts of the Middle East will have seen a solar eclipse since 1999.

Britain Druids Recognized This Tuesday Aug. 10, 1999 photo from files shows Arch Druid Ed Prynn as he calls down the sun during his sun dance around a ring of stones, in St. Merryn, England. Source: AP/Press Association Images

If you can cast your mind back 16 years or so, you may recall that there was quite a bit of hoopla around that eclipse – the last one of the millennium.

Here’s a section of the BBC’s coverage from 11 August 1999 – presented by Michael Buerk…

Source: MrDunkola/YouTube

Remember it now?

Statistically, it’s bound to be the case that some readers weren’t quite born at the time. However, if you were around – and you can’t quite remember what you were up to on the day itself, the following might jog your memory a little….

What we were listening to

This was the number 1 single – both in Ireland AND the UK…

Source: angelfang1981/YouTube

That very week, the rest of the UK top ten chart looked like this:

2. Better Off Alone – Alice Deejay

3. Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin

4. Rendez-Vu – Basement Jaxx

5. Guilty Conscience – Eminem feat Dr Dre

6. If Ya Gettin’ Down – Five

7. Feel Good – Phats & Small

8. Wild Wild West – Will Smith

9. Let Forever Be – Chemical Brothers

10. Why Does it Always Rain on Me – Travis

Source: Travis/YouTube

What we were watching

These were the films of the summer, back in 1999 (US box office number 1s, from the start of May)

  • Entrapment
  • The Mummy
  • Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 
  • Tarzan 
  • Big Daddy 
  • Wild Wild West 
  • American Pie 
  • Eyes Wide Shut
  • The Haunting 
  • Runaway Bride
  • The Sixth Sense

Source: TheAmazingZdog/YouTube

Meanwhile, on TV – in 1999, you may well have been watching the first season of The Sopranos or The West Wing.

While here at home, this man was presenting The Den…

Source: ddnturkey/YouTube

What we were reading

Finally, this was the New York Times Best Seller List, for the week of 8 August 1999…

  • 1 HANNIBAL, by Thomas Harris. 
  • 2 GRANNY DAN, by Danielle Steel. 
  • 3 HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, by J. K. Rowling.
  • 4 HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, by J. K. Rowling.
  • 5 MOTHER OF PEARL, by Melinda Haynes. 

Slideshow: The 2011 lunar eclipse

Read: Newgrange winter dawn coincides with rare total lunar eclipse

 

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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