[Today's Multiverse Guest Blogger is Carmen Zheng, one of our former Surfin’ the Solar Wind high school interns, who grew up in Oakland and who is now—to our delight—an astronomy major at Cal. "On hot summer nights, we sat on the roof of my house, pretending we could see Pluto through our little telescope and pretending none of our problems existed."]
On May 20, 2012, I was sitting in the back of a crowded minivan, basking in the cool breeze of the air conditioning and gazing out the window as the flashing city lights of Reno, Nevada whizzed by. Although glamorous hotels, slot machines, and neat souvenir shops basically surrounded our car, I was not looking at the streets – I was looking at the sky. May 20th was the date of an annular solar eclipse. We were headed to the small town of Nixon, Nevada, about an hour outside of Reno, where we would be directly underneath the passing of the moon between Earth and Sun.