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

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

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:44 pm

I had a great location to view the eclipse, was well equipped, and needed only the cooperation of the weather. Up until 12:00 there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Then they started rolling in. I got a good view of the first 10 minutes as the moon began to bite into the sun. Thrilling. Then intermittent clouds. They actually added to the interest. In steady viewing, the movement of the moon was not apparent, but after a few minutes of cloud cover the additional eclipse was quite evident. Each time the eclipse reappeared, the crowd whooped and screamed their delight.

Now we just needed a cloud-free totality. Unfortunately, we didn't get it. What we got was a very thin sliver of sun, then a cloud, then darkness, then another very thin sliver of sun, but on the other side. Totality did bring a huge crowd reaction. The darkness was thrilling and we did see stars around the fringes of the cloud. But, alas, no view of totality.

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Steve Kutzer
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

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

Post by Steve Kutzer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:39 pm

astro64 wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:57 pm
Steve Kutzer wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:44 pm
astro64 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:04 pm


I will say it again. 90% total is no better than 70% total. Only 100% total is what you want, otherwise don't bother driving for it. The corona is quite faint. If only 1% of the sun's brightness is still there, you won't see the corona. You will not see the moon's shadow coming at great speed to you, you will not see the pink layer of the chromosphere, etc.
My 100 mile drive gets me to totality.
Yes, great, I hope the traffic in Atlanta will cooperate for you! And the weather.
Everything came together. It was a 2 hour drive to where a friend who volunteers for an astronomy non-profit had setup solar telescopes. We got there at 2, and when we looked at the sun with our protective glasses, you could see obscuration was well under way. Then totality at 2:37 was really spectacular. The drive home took 4 hours, but still the experience was totally worth it.

I don't remember the glasses being a thing before. The few times in my life I've been in a partial eclipse, everybody used pinhole "cameras", and that just seemed silly to me. Plus, I don't remember much of any change in light or shadows. But looking at the partial eclipse through the glasses was pretty cool.

Glad this one worked out. The next one through the U.S. is 2024, and the closest totality is an 8 hour drive (under the best of circumstances).
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astro64
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Location: American Southwest

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

Post by astro64 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:23 pm

Sorry to hear about the weather, gitgeezer, bummer! Glad it worked out for you, Steve. The pinhole cameras work fine as a projection tool, the leaves of trees will do too if you look at the images of the Sun they cast on the ground, or your hands crossed at 90 degrees with little empty spaces in between the fingers. A strainer with little holes makes a nice projection tool too. But the glasses are better, I think, you see that big orange sun being obscured. We had a crowd of 500-1000 students, staff, and faculty walk by some telescopes during the 3 hrs and all were happy and impressed, and that was only for a partial eclipse.

gitgeezer
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:09 pm
Location: Southeastern U.S.

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

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:03 pm

Besides the eclipse itself, I was amazed that throughout the eclipse and during totality, there was still traffic on nearby roads. What's up with that? Are those people just oblivious to nature?

astro64
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Location: American Southwest

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

Post by astro64 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:11 pm

A colleague of mine said that during a previous total eclipse many moons ago, he was amazed to see people turning on their headlights and driving on, right during totality...

Kenbobpdx
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Location: Portland, Oregon

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

Post by Kenbobpdx » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:07 pm

I had an awesome eclipse day! I decided to go fly fishing on a mountain lake in a float tube. I hadn't planned on being in totality but it turned out the lake I was on was right in the middle of the path of totality. Stunningly beautiful setting, clear sky, and an unobstructed view of the eclipse. Oh, and a 30 fish day, all catch and release.

It was really weird when it started to darken. The trout started feeding on the surface like it was dusk. They usually stay deep during the day due to feeding osprey picking them off near the surface.
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Andrew Pohlman
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Location: SF Bay Area

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

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:17 pm

Well, it was totally foggy for us, with only a very few cloud breaks affording a few glimpses of the eclipse. The eclipse party with family and friends was fantastic: champagne, hors d ouvres, excellent foods of many kinds. I got out my lunar globe and passed it around and talked about the moon. Really very fun! And since we are in the SF Bay Area, it was all cleaned up by noon.
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khayes
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Location: Middle Tennessee

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

Post by khayes » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:44 pm

We live in the path of totality and had a spectacular look on our patio. What surprised me was the change in the 'color' of the air as the eclipse occurred. It's like everything just became de-saturated in color. Everyone kept saying to expect it to be like night, total darkness, but it wasn't like that. There was still enough light peeking around the moon to keep everything here dimly lit. We did notice how quiet it became and then the cicadas started squawking. As it returned to normal, the birds began singing.
Ken

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