The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

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gitgeezer
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The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:13 pm

I'm starting this new thread on the solar eclipse because my previous thread, started last year, is looking a bit dated, and I wanted to stress the urgency of preparing for a total solar eclipse that is now less than two weeks away.

Numerous websites on the eclipse can be found by searching on "solar eclipse." Many of them have excellent maps. One I've found helpful is http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/maps.htm. It shows the complete path of the eclipse across the U.S., then splits the path into 9 sections, each of which can be made full screen and printed.

The science and astronomy magazines have of course given the eclipse thorough coverage. Astronomy magazine devoted the August issue to it. Sky and Telescope issued a special edition on it, available at Barnes and Noble where I purchased mine. It includes a pair of cardboard-type eclipse eyeglasses. My only disappointment in this special edition is that it has no article explaining the west-to-east movement of the eclipse.

I've stocked up on eclipse viewing equipment, including Slooh solar eyeglasses and Meade 10x50 binoculars with removable solar filters. I'll watch with the eyeglasses until the moon begins to cut into the sun, then I'll switch to the filtered binoculars. At totality I'll switch between naked-eye viewing and unfiltered binoculars to get the full effect of the spectacular total eclipse. Naked-eye viewing is safe at totality.

So why does the eclipse move from west to east? Our normal experience is that the moon moves from east to west. That's because the earth rotates toward the east. But all the while, the moon is moving in its orbit from west to east (counterclockwise as seen from above the north pole). In watching the moon from earth's surface, the rotation of the earth outpaces the moon's movement in its orbit, so we see the moon moving from east to west. But for solar eclipses, the moon's movement in its orbit dominates, so we see the eclipse moving from west to east.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:49 pm

Will you able to get any photos?

We had one here in was it 2000? Guess what - it was cloudy!
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gitgeezer
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:49 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:49 pm
Will you able to get any photos?

We had one here in was it 2000? Guess what - it was cloudy!
Though I'm a photographer (used to teach it) I've decided to not even take a camera. This being my first total solar eclipse, I want to experience the full effect of totality without distractions. Everyone who has seen a total eclipse says it is a spectacular, life-changing experience that cannot be duplicated by photographs.

Yes, the possibility of cloudy skies is an issue, especially here in the East. Just about every time I look at a satellite weather picture of the East, I see widespread cloud coverage. I'm comforted, however, by the words of one scientist who says satellite weather photography is far more sensitive than our eyes and that a lot of the cloud coverage shown in the satellite images cannot be seen from the ground with the naked eye.

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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:15 pm

I'm ready! Turns out my wife must work, so those plans have changed. But a few friends have also taken the day off and we'll meet up for eclipse gazing. I still have a bottle of Cline 2014 Zin sequestered - it's yummy stuff! I'll make horderves served by my Auusie relatives: sliced and grilled Spanish chorizo with 1/2 a medool date attached. I have eclipse glasses and my chums have ordered more for themselves. One chum also has an awesome wide-barrel Celestron telescope with appropriate filters. Yeah, we are ready.
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beanctr
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by beanctr » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:34 pm

Not much work gonna get done that day here in the Carolinas! R
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khayes
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by khayes » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:22 pm

We're pretty much in the direct path where I live...I'm looking forward to it, already have my glasses ready.
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dory
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by dory » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:15 pm

Where can I get safe eclipse glasses? Does anyone know? I have beard that many of the ones available are unsafe.
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gitgeezer
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:39 pm

Here are two articles that may help. The first is an article by space.com on fake solar glasses. The second is an article by the American Astronomical Society on reputable vendors of solar glasses.

https://www.space.com/37673-beware-fake ... asses.html

https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters

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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by a human » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:11 pm

We have our glasses and are in 93+% area, so are ready!
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dory
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by dory » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:49 pm

Thank you!
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by Wesjr1 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:31 pm

Just a few warnings to those not experienced in viewing or photographing the sun "directly": First and foremost:
1.DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use regular sunglasses (even the UV type) to look at the sun--they are not rated for solar viewing and you can damage your eyesight permanently!!! Use only the types of glasses rated for solar (links to info are in above posts).
2. If you plan to photograph the eclipse obtain a rated solar filter for your camera lens--I realize that no one here would be dumb enough to look through the viewfinder directly at the sun without a lens solar filter, but, I've seen it happen..... 3. If you're using one of the small pocket type cameras with or without a viewfinder, hold a solar filter in front of the camera lens and viewfinder. Best to view through the camera using the view screen on the back. If you're using a higher end Through-The-Lens (TTL) digital camera with removable lenses, screw the solar filter onto the lens, or if not possible, you, or a friend, hold the filter in front of the lens.
4. Although it is "technically" safe to view the sun directly during totality, recommend you still keep your eye protection on, or very close by--the sun's edge may suddenly appear as the moon moves away and any exposed portion of the sun can be damaging to the unprotected eye. 5. If you are unable to obtain any proper eye protection at all, you can make a "pin-hole" camera by taking a sheet of paper or thin cardboard and poking a small hole (tack-pin size or a little smaller) in the center of the sheet. Hold another sheet of paper or cardboard behind the pin hole to act as a viewing screen and hold both perpendicular to the sun. The pin-hole acts as a lens and will project an image (small) of the sun onto the second sheet. Moving the second "screen" sheet nearer or farther away from the pin-hole sheet will act to "focus" the small image. Likewise, look at the shadows under a tree--the spaces between the leaves act as pin-hole lenses and cast images of the sun on the ground. Good viewing and clear skies to all!!!
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by astro64 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:02 pm

a human wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:11 pm
We have our glasses and are in 93+% area, so are ready!
Make sure to make it to the zone of totality. 93% vs a total eclipse is an enormous difference in what you will experience. You must be in the zone of totality to see the corona, the darkness, the changes in wildlife, the moon's shadow racing towards you, etc.

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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:16 pm

astro64 wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:02 pm
a human wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:11 pm
We have our glasses and are in 93+% area, so are ready!
Make sure to make it to the zone of totality. 93% vs a total eclipse is an enormous difference in what you will experience. You must be in the zone of totality to see the corona, the darkness, the changes in wildlife, the moon's shadow racing towards you, etc.
We are in an 80% zone. But we have had 80% eclipses before and it was still quite remarkable. Maybe more dramatic in the 100% zones, but still, worth the effort to view it IMHO.
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astro64
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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by astro64 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:55 pm

Much much much more dramatic in the total zone. I like your word "remarkable" that is a good description of a partial eclipse. Remarkable, not dramatic. And indeed, not everyone will be able to go see this total eclipse, myself included. I have seen one before (and also a complete annular eclipse). The total eclipse lives up to its reputation as a unique and not to be missed event, far more dramatic than even an annular eclipse.

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Re: The Solar Eclipse is Nearly Upon Us!—August 21!

Post by lagartija » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:03 pm

astro64 wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:55 pm
Much much much more dramatic in the total zone. I like your word "remarkable" that is a good description of a partial eclipse. Remarkable, not dramatic. And indeed, not everyone will be able to go see this total eclipse, myself included. I have seen one before (and also a complete annular eclipse). The total eclipse lives up to its reputation as a unique and not to be missed event, far more dramatic than even an annular eclipse.
+1

I have seen quite a few annular eclipses and they were interesting, as is a full lunar eclipse. The one time I experienced 2'30" of totality in Brandon, Manitoba (now I am really dating myself!!), it was spectacular and unique. We had high ice crystal clouds, so there was a bit more scattering and totality was not as dark as it has been in other eclipses (as I was told by Jay Pasachoff, who has seen them all around the world.) Nevertheless, it was worth the travel time to go there...even under the cold conditions of Winter in Manitoba. I will miss this one as I am taking care of plants and house for a friend and colleague who will be seeing this one with his wife. Neither has been in the path of totality before.
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