Just after noon on Thursday, a shadow passed in front of the sun, and the skies above East Africa dimmed. It was the middle of the day, yet it looked like evening.
As the solar eclipse began, I was in a tiny Tanzanian village called Lupiro, with a group of Danish and Swedish laser scientists and local experts on the behavior of malaria mosquitoes. We were joined by a throng of excited children who lived nearby. Together, with the help of dark tinted plates of glass, we stared up at the sun.