Didja see the eclipse?

As I start this post, those of you in Charleston, the easternmost point of totality, will be experiencing it in about two minutes.  Here in Chicago, the peak was 1:18 pm, about half an hour ago, and it was 86.6% of totality.

I was out in the quad with my eclipse glasses, and although it was hazy and cloudy, with my the glasses on I could see the eclipse quite well, with just a little sliver of golden Sun visible—like a brand new Moon. The funny thing was that if you looked at the Sun directly at the 86.6% point, as I did for just a millisecond, you couldn’t tell it was almost gone—it looked like full Sun. Since it was overcast, with perhaps a storm brewing, it was hard to tell if the eclipse made it darker.

As for the animals, well, there weren’t any around save my duck Honey, whom I observed during the darkest point of the eclipse. She just stood there on the duck island as usual, with no obvious quacking or distress.

How did your viewing go?

Here’s a photo from the NASA feed in Charleston, South Carolina, taken at 1:51, just coming out of totality:

Here’s a view of totality taken in Idaho Falls. How spectacular! At that point you see the corona, and I’m sure some of you saw it:

From Madras, Oregon, near totality, just before the corona pops up:

88 Comments

  1. ploubere
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Total here in Nashville. Pretty cool, but didn’t live up to the hype. Sky did not go black, the two-headed snake with the crowns of sapphire didn’t show, dogs did not speak like humans.
    Also, birds didn’t seem to notice.

    • David Coxill
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      How did the local rednecks react ?.
      Did they think the rupture ,i mean rapture was upon them .

  2. Posted August 21, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I lucked out; a fortuitous break in the clouds let me watch the maximum clearly for five to six minutes! Used glasses as my duct tape and cardboard pinhole camera. My work mates sponged off my equipment, but hey, it was worth it.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      *and my duct….

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      That’s really amazing, since the max lasted only 2:40. I would have (and will in the future) gladly paid good American money for another 2 minutes of totality! Absolutely breathtaking. I still do not have words for what I saw.

      • Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Lolz, you’re right. I should of said that I had a clear view for five to six minutes during the time of my locale’s maximum. 😉

        • Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          That’s probably even *more* amazing. What good fortune to have a hole appear right then and there!!

  3. rickflick
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I added this comment to the previous thread about earlier today. I hope it’s OK to move here:

    I have just got off the phone talking to my daughter Amelia(veterinarian) who is camping near Stanley Lake, Idaho, in the path of totality. She reports that the scene was fantastic. She said the first thing she notice is the temperature began to drop significantly a half hour before totality. When it began to get very dark, the dogs decided it was time to hunt so they started circling in the woods. A friend’s huskies, which are trained as sled dogs, started to howl. Amelia said it was “very creepy”. The few birds around went silent as if roosting. No insect sounds were heard at totality. temperature a their location(4,000 feet elevation) went from 80F to about 55F and is slowly recovering as the process continues.

  4. busterggi
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    too darn much traffic noise to hear if the birds reacted, partly cloudy too but w/ borrowed glasses it looked good.

  5. Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I saw it. I’m in Alabama about an hour away from where the total eclipse was visible. (unfortunately I’m not physically well enough to have made the trip) It was noticeably darker, so much so that birds were tweeting, and crickets were cricketing, presumably tricked into thinking the sun was setting.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Just wanted to add that it was 97.86 percent of totality here.

      • Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Aw, man…you were close enough that you shoulda driven the last few miles to the path of totality….

        b&

        >

        • Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          I agree. My parents were at 99.99%!!! I really tried to get them to head 2-10 miles down the highway they are very comfortable driving, but they stayed on the back porch. Mom was a few days out of surgery, so I understand, but she was doing very very well, and easily could have made it.

  6. Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    We have partly cloudy skies here in Tempe, AZ today, but the Sun came through enough for some good views through the telescope filter. (Just the filter; didn’t bother hauling out the camera.) ‘Twas a good eclipse, as they all are — but nothing nearly as mind-blowing as the ring of fire I saw over the Grand Canyon a few years ago.

    As it turns out, a week ago today Misa and I woke up in a godawful Quality Inn in Charlotte, North Carolina, not all that far from Charleston, geographically speaking. Our flight from DC was so late it got to the gate just as our connecting flight to Phoenix was pushing back, so the airline let us get a few hours of sleep somewhere other than the airport.

    I wanted to make a trip to see the total eclipse, but figured it was prudent to avoid the insanity with all the hype. Maybe we’ll do the 2024 eclipse, depending on how well the path of totality survived this one.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      We made it there and back with very little (none) insanity. Picked an off-the-beaten-path place right on the centerline, and with just some simple planning, made sure we were headed away from most traffic after.

      This was NOTHING LIKE the ring of fire, or a 99% coverage eclipse. At 100%, someone hit a switch, and reality changed somehow….still trying to find words to express it. Awe-inspiring, breathtaking, etc… nothing does it justice.

  7. davidintoronto
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The experts say that just because the Sun is 70% covered (as was the case in Toronto), don’t expect it to be 70% dimmer. Reason: physics. That said, I thought I did detect a very slight change in the intensity and color of the sunlight near maximum coverage. But perhaps I was imagining. Did notice, this time, the crescent-shaped leave shadows under trees, etc. Neat-o.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Same here.

      • Mark Reaume
        Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        ditto

        • davidintoronto
          Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          So NOT my imagination. Good. And sorry for my typo. I expect you saw “leaf” shadows rather than “leave” shadows.

          😉

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      “Reason: physics,” yes, of course. But it’s easy to understand why.

      Let’s create a totally arbitrary brightness scale. A sheet of paper in office lighting is 100. A lump of coal next to it is 5. Open sky is 1,000. The Sun is 1,000,000,000. 10% of the Sun is still 100,000,000.

      We regularly experience small fractions of the Sun that are intolerably bright: reflections off of chrome car parts, the Sun itself through tree cover, that sort of thing. Everybody knows how much even they can hurt the eyes and that you don’t want to look at them.

      There’s a deeper explanation about the logarithmic nature of the human visual system’s perception of brightness, too, but you don’t need to go anywhere near that to get an intuitive feeling for what’s happening.

      Cheers,

      b&

      >

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I noticed that the light looked different when the eclipse was as good as it was going to get for us.

    • Brian Davis
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      It peaked at a little over 60% here near Los Angeles. The sunlight dimmed noticeably. Seeing the dimming from my office window was how I knew it was time to make a quick pinhole camera and go outside.

  8. Mark Reaume
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    My cube mate made a pinhole camera out of a shoebox. It worked pretty good, although we only got about 75% coverage up here in Ontario. I’m waiting for my brother’s pictures since he went to Wyoming just to see this.

  9. Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I made a pinhole Camera Obscura with two index cards and watched Ol Sol get eaten. Then spat out again. Seattle.

  10. BobTerrace
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I looked at a pinhole viewer in Massachusetts where it was 60% at 2:47 pm. Then a thin layer of clouds covered the sun/moon and I was able to look directly, but only looked 2 seconds.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Since you said it here – I’ll add – I looked directly too, but only because there was hazy cloud cover. I called it a “glance”, being like a darting look as if you were looking in the grocery store for items. I’m still a little nervous that tomorrow after I put on my glasses, things will be all a mess.

  11. Flaffer
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    The main wildlife change here in St. Louis (40 seconds of totality) were the cicadas. All of a sudden they kicked up the jams as if it were late evening.

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Corona more gorgeous directly than in any photos due to fabulous iridescence effect I don’t seen in any captured images.

    Venus came out, but no other stars. No one can see Jupiter West of Idaho (I was in Oregon), but evidently in some places you can see Sirius & Regulus.

    My astronomer friend tells me the considerable haze from recent Oregon wildfires may be why only Venus showed up.

  13. Hempenstein
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Oddly enough for Pittsburgh, it’s been possible to look up at the sun thru the whole thing here. Not that the sky was completely clear – it was just clear where the sun was.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Looking thru two sets of acetylene goggles plus an arc-welding shield worked fine!

      • Posted August 22, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        I’m trying to picture that! 🙂

  14. BJ
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    My eclipse was incredibly disappointing, being in an area where it was only about 80%. When I looked up at the sun (for one second!), it seemed normal, but it was only when I put on the glasses that I could actually see the moon covering a good portion of it. There was no darkness, nothing different, and it just seemed like a normal day.

    I was so excited I got in my pool 1/2 hour before, blasted some music through my outdoor system, and got ready to enjoy myself.

    Alas, it was just another normal swim 😦

  15. Randy schenck
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Only 93% here in Wichita but surprised at the darkness. Also seemed to get cooler for a short time.

  16. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    My thing didn’t go through?

    Yes

    70% zone

    Thoroughly Hazy but spaces of mostly clear sky

    Pinhole in cardboard

    iPhone pics – could sorta see most of the moon

  17. loren russell
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    For the eclipse, Flo and I rode our bikes about 6 miles [and a thousand vertical feet to a beautiful meadow in the Corvallis Greenbelt. Joined about 200 folks who mostly trekked up the last mile or so of road for a prospect spanning about 60 miles from Marys Peak in the Oregon Coast Range, across the southern Willamette Valley to the Cascades. [The high peaks of the Cascades were, alas, cloaked in smoke from forest fires.

    We had locals of all ages, and quite a few tourists, mostly from the West Coast. Near me were a couple of young men from Japan with a nice camera and video set-up. . One of the late arrivals was a young womam on a bike carrying a colander. “Picking berries or Pastafarian”, I asked. “The latter”, she said, though Pastafarians here in the Mother Church do fill their colanders with sacramental blackberries each August.

    The sun was a 40% crescent, when a long arc of contrail suddenly appeared, perfectly framing the sun. As darkness approached, one of my neighbors spotted a meteor over the shoulder of Marys Peak. A few [legal] spliffs were passed around. And my camera battery ran low — fortunately I brought my back-up camera into play

    A fine morning, and I don’t think the beauty was spoiled by understanding..

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      @ Loren

      An excellent report – I feel like I was almost “there” as I smoke my illegal-but-nobody-gets-copped spliff from “here”

      [here = 2% max totality & full, grey overcast Britain]

  18. Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Clouds and rain here in St. Paul, MN. 😦

  19. Stephen Barnard
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I watched the eclipse in the tiny mountain town of Stanley, Idaho (pop.63) where I have a cabin. Stanley was pretty much eclipse dead center. I think we had 2 minutes and 12 seconds of totality. The town expected unprecedented numbers of people — estimates as high as 50,000 — but that didn’t pan out, to the displeasure of the merchants and the delight of the residents. The backcountry dirt airstrip was so packed with small airplanes that they ran out of parking spots.

    Totality was remarkable. What went through my mind was to wonder what it would have been like if you’d lived in prehistory and had no idea what was happening. It must have been terrifying.

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      ” if you’d lived in prehistory and had no idea what was happening. It must have been terrifying.”

      Indeed!

  20. Stephen Barnard
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Seconds before totality, while surrounded by people of uncertain political affiliation (It’s Idaho, the reddest of states), I said in a loud stage whisper, “Lord, if you want us to impeach Donald Trump give us a sign!”

  21. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Great views here in Southern Ontario. A nice clear, sunny day and I was very popular with everyone on campus who asked me to borrow them. It was nice to see a lot of enthusiastic and exited kids and some people lined up for over an hour to look in the eyepiece of a 10″ dobsonian telescope. The physics department, who put on sidewalk astronomy here, had eclipse glasses but people quickly walked off with them so there were none to share.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      It’s worth noting that the Sun is always a great object for telescoping viewing — with proper equipment, of course. In fact, the Sun is best observed when the Moon isn’t in the way.

      Keep those eclipse glasses, folks, and see if you can’t find a sunspot…they’re small, but, if you’ve got good eyes, you can spot the biggest of them. Or, find a cheap telescope that’s good for looking at the Moon and fit it properly with a suitable solar filter and enjoy a never-ending show.

      Cheers,

      b&

      >

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        A scope at home has a solar filter and they cost very little. I’ve seen sun spots as well. The sun is pretty cool for observing but the eclipse was really neat as the moon appeared spherical. When people looked through the eclipse glasses they were noticeably awed. It was nice to see kids get so excited to see it too!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      ‘them’ = eclipse glasses. 🙂 The sun has exhausted me today.

      • Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the Sun exhausted you so much as you got eclipsed….

        b&

        >

        • rickflick
          Posted August 21, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Trumped, as it were.

  22. Darren Garrison
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Watched it from home in South Carolina. Only one small cloud at the very beginning, before I could fully convince myself that I was just starting to see a nibble out of the side. That cloud passed after a couple of minutes and the view was clear from then on. I was surprised how much the temperature had dropped by around 50% coverage and a cool breeze began to blow from the south. I didn’t notice any dimming around me until around 80 to 90 percent coverage. The corona seemed to me to be more detailed, with fingerprint like whorls that aren’t visible in the above photos (but I’m not sure if it was really there or an effect of my astigmatism.)

    Moments after the beginning of totality, a flock of birds flew up, but I can’t say if that was a reaction to the darkness or a coincidence.

  23. Jeff Lewis
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Watched it from Wichita Falls, Texas, where we got 77% obscuration. I built one of those home made sun funnels to put on an Astroscan telescope. It worked great, allowing all of my office mates to gather around and look together, pointing out different things like the sun spots. Definitely noticed cooler temperatures and less brightness. For anyone interested, here are pics of the setup and our view at max obscuration:

    http://www.jefflewis.net/blog/2017/08/eclipse_watching.html

    And since we’re all nerds, we took some measurements and came up with our own measurement of max obscuration, coming up with 82% – not too far off for using a simple tape measure.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      @Jeff – That red Astroscan telescope is a thing of beauty & so compact! I had no idea that ‘scopes can be like that. I looked it up on YouTube to discover how it works.

      Thinking about buying my first telescope now. At 61yo 🙂

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Cute aren’t they? I remember these in the 90s when I got my scope and wanting one.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          @Diana It’s so cute it must have been a duck or kitten in a former life! I’ll have to see what’s what now that Edmund have ceased production a good while ago.

      • Jeff Lewis
        Posted August 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        I’d wanted one ever since being a kid growing up in the ’80s reading Odyssey magazine. When I became a parent, I had an excuse to buy one and the money to do so. It’s great – simple, rugged, good optics. Perfect for the casual stargazer like me who only breaks it out a couple times a year.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      That’s a great set up.

  24. Cate Plys
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I watched from the 55th Street Promontory Point extending out into Lake Michigan. It was a nice group of people at the tip of the Point sitting on the rocks, but not an impressive experience as we’re about five hours from the totality path, and it was a cloudy day. One of my neighbors observed, “It’s just like yesterday.” But there was one thing: When we were maybe 20 minutes from the height of the eclipse, a swarm of purple martins appeared and spent the rest of the time swooping over the water hunting insects. Why they thought it was sunset and not just another cloudy day, I have no idea.

  25. loren russell
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s widely reported that Our Dear [and Fearless] Leader ditched his eclipse glasses to stare at the [85%?] eclipse from a White House veranda.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      One of the craziest of the many, many eclipse warnings I heard was “Do not drive wearing your eclipse glasses.” Since you cannot see anything (except the sun) through eclipse glasses, I said to my friends “Surely there is no one in the world dumb enough to drive wearing eclipse glasses!” Later I read about Trump and thought “Yep, there is.”

  26. Posted August 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I feel lucky to live in the path of totality, in Corvallis, Oregon. With our guests, we set up chairs and tables on our driveway, ready with eclipse glasses, boxes to use as pinhole cameras, and a probe to make holes. For a long time, everything seemed normal except that with our devices we could see the black disc of the moon blocking a small part of the sun. Gradually, though, the temperatures really did get cooler (welcome; we’d been hot). The world became dimmer. It was kind of eerie, not like night time but like the world quietly turning off. Tree leaf shadows cast images of the crescent sun on buildings and sidewalks.

    The moment totality began was more impressive than I expected. Alarmed Scrub Jays cried out. Neighbors cheered. In deep blue near-darkness, we took down our eclipse glasses and watched the sun’s corona. As we marveled, the minute and 50 seconds of totality went faster than expected. Suddenly a point of light appeared at the edge of the corona; we fumbled for our eclipse glasses. The jays quieted. Light and warmth slowly reappeared. The crescent suns reappeared in the trees shadows, pointing the opposite way. By the time the eclipse was finished, we were sweating again.

    I’m very glad I experienced this.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      That was a wonderful description. Wish I was there to enjoy it, but you really gave a sense of it.

    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 3:41 am | Permalink

      Yes, thanks for the beautiful description. Quite envious of you.

  27. Posted August 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Saw it 10 miles south of St. Louis, MO, totally unobscured. About 20 minutes before totality the sky darkened enough that it seemed to me that I was still seeing everything through my sunglasses, which I had taken off. If anything funny happened to the birds it must have been drowned by the noise of the crowd.

  28. nwalsh
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    We here in southern BC were also 86% of totality, hardly noticed any dimness. Watched it through my son’s welding filters. Very spectacular.

  29. Adam M.
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Supposedly 95% here, but it was still brighter than an overcast day. 😛 Cool shadows through the trees, though.

  30. Posted August 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Had just shy of 2 minutes of totality with perfectly clear skies here just south of St. Louis. The corona was way bigger and brighter than I expected. The light was a much purer white than normal sunlight. Streetlights came on. Just before totality, the sky to the west was ominously dark as totality came at us. It also got noticibly quieter, probably because everyone parked their cars to watch. We did the pinhole trick but the eclipse glasses were better. An older gentleman said “that’s the way we did it when we were little!” Everyone celebrated and hugs were exchanged. It was more emotional than I was expecting. I am so glad we got to experience it.

  31. Randy Bessinger
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Layton, MO. Got some break from storms for part of it but cloudy when 100%. Still very cool with darkness overhead but some light in the west. Terrible traffic in a torrential storm though coming back to kc.

  32. Karen Bartelt
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    At Kentucky Lake. Over two minutes of totality. The difference between a partial and a total is amazing. So glad we did this,and glad we won’t go home until tomorrow.

  33. Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    A beautiful spot on the Snake River at the Oregon/Idaho border. Two minutes and five seconds of totality under perfect skies. Saw the shadow approach from the west over bare rolling hills. A truly awe-inspiring experience.

    • Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Surprised to see many sunspots through my solar binoculars. Aren’t we supposed to be in the quiet period of the solar cycle?

  34. bbenzon
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Only 71% in Jersey City, plus obscured by clouds. Here’s a shot:

    20170821-_IGP9938

  35. GBJames
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    We watched it from about 50 miles southwest of St. Louis. Totally awesome. A bucket list experience. Totality is way cooler than the partial versions I’ve seen in the past.

  36. John Conoboy
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Spent last night in Fort Collins, CO. Drove up early in am to a rest area just north of Glendo Lake along I25 almost on the centerline of totality. Perfect weather and views. Lots of friendly people. Two and a half hour drive in am. Took 6 1/2 hrs to drive back. Tried to get pictures but not sure if they are any good.

    • Ross, C.S.
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      We also stayed overnight Sunday evening in Fort Collins. We drove east at 5 am Monday morning across Interstate 25 and noted the already terrible traffic driving north. So we switched to plan B which was the superior plan.

      We drove further east to U.S. 85 at Greely and then drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming and then on to Torrington which was originally in plan A. We drove through downtown Cheyenne and right next to the state capitol as well.

      We found a lovely spot about 6 miles north of Torrington on Wyoming 159, very near the umbra centerline. The sky was perfectly clear with no cirrus and a gorgeous view of Nine Mile Mesa.

      My car thermometer carried 79 degrees just before the start of the eclipse and dropped seven degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit about half an hour after totality.

      Now we can hardly wait until April 8, 2024 when we won’t have to travel much to see the eclipse across much of Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

  37. Posted August 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I watched the Eclipse starting shortly after 9AM from my yard in Lebanon, Oregon. Used my husband’s walker (nice, comfortable seat, and wheels) to observe from between the pump house and a pine tree. Wore a sunhat, had my ISO Eclipse glasses, a glass of iced tea and a book. A Yellow-jacket kept dive-bombing my tea. I kept futzing around with my hat and my glasses, trying to get them to play nice together. They mostly tied my hair in knots.

    At first observation (looking south), I was amazed by the bright whiteness of the Sun. Then, the Moon started to nibble away from the northwestern edge of the Sun, working its’ way southeast . The neighbor’s dogs howled throughout much of the Eclipse. Heard birds briefly before total darkness. (And, specifically, no sounds of automobile traffic on highway 20). No other insect, bird or animal sounds. I did not watch the whole time, but glanced up every little bit to see how far the Eclipse had advanced. Bite after bite after bite disappeared until all was gone but a ring.

    As was noted by the folk from Corvallis, the temperatures went down. There was a nice breeze where I was. At totality, a ring of the Sun remained visible. When darkness fell, it was
    a dark grey, not black. Visibility still good.
    The return of the Sun, or departure of the Moon, seemed to go much faster at the end than the beginning. Seemed to me that the reappearance of the Sun went from southeast to northwest.

    I didn’t remain for the complete return. I was so excited last night, I couldn’t sleep, so
    went in the house to take a nap.

    Hope I’m still around for the next one.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      +1

      I hope you’ll be around for the next one too!

  38. rickflick
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I found this short film about the mechanics and the emotion of the eclipse. It’s by the people who made “To Scale: The Solar System”.

    https://vimeo.com/229528487

  39. KD33
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Saw it today in eastern Oregon. It is impossible to describe. Nothing like a partial eclipse, or watching a video. There are few other ~5 minute episodes in my life that I’ll remember as vividly. We were at a decent elevation looking 50 miles or so east and west along a valley, and one of the most amazing sites was the shadow of the earth coming at us. Not like the sky getting dark at dusk, but like a hole opening up on the western horizon and moving at you. The abyss of the moon during totality was the blackest thing I’ve ever seen, and the jewel on the diamond ring at the end of totality the brightest. And there was definitely a sort of primal reaction coming from somewhere deep down in my psyche – as all my companions mentioned, too. I’d read about this in other people and expected to be disappointed, but was not! Strangely emotional, though that may also be because my late father, a great 20th century astronomer, tried three times with my grandfather to observe eclipses, and each time was clouded- or fogged-out. Wish he could have been there today.

    • KD33
      Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      Forgot to mention – the drop in temperature as the sun becomes mote obscured is substantial, and really adds to the foreboding (and excitement)!

      • GBJames
        Posted August 22, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Where we were it added to the comfort. It had been very hot and muggy in Missouri. The eclipse made it rather pleasant again.

  40. ethologist
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I saw it in Ste Genevieve, MO, in the path of totality. It was beautiful. Awe-inspiring. Some things weren’t surprising…planets coming into view, nocturnal insects starting their choruses. But there were two things about the eclipse that I wasn’t prepared for…1. That the partially eclipsed sun is yellow/orange but the sun’s corona in the total eclipse is white; 2. During totality, one can see a reddish horizon akin to sunset, but in ALL directions. Another thing that surprised me, though I had been warned: the traffice. It took us 7.5 hours of driving to get from Michigan to our viewing venue and 12.5 hours to get back. Check out this animation of Google’s traffic overlay with the path of totality superimposed.
    http://gizmodo.com/todays-solar-eclipse-left-a-path-of-nightmarish-traffic-1798289293

  41. Willard Bolinger
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Went north of Kansas City to Watkins Mills State Park at the beach site. Rained hard but cleared up to where even though cloudy with the glasses we say almost all and before totality a big section of blue shy allowed us to see the entire totality. I forgot to count but it was long and it got dark enough to get the stars. Fantastic experience!!

  42. Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    This may show up twice, but it appeared not to go through the first time:

    Drove up to Wyo and ended up in the back country between Casper and Douglas. Even along this long dirt road, there were hundreds of cars. I pulled into a nice looking spot, and totally lucked out – there was a fellow from Texas who brought his 12 inch telescope and some modified binoculars. The thirty or so folks at our spot got some great views; even through the eclipse glasses, the sight was amazing. At about 8000 feet with prefect skies, it could not have been better. As the eclipse passed 50%, the temperature began to drop, and by totality, I had to put on my sweatshirt. The sky and colors were somewhat other-worldly, going from clear blue and natural colors to a unique haze with eerie colorations. At totality, Venus was easy to spot, as were some other celestial bodies – I spotted Regulus that was closely adjacent to the moon/sun. I avoided the traffic jam from hell along Interstate 25 by taking some back roads. Still, a 3.5 hour drive was 7, but on the Interstate, the Casper to Cheyenne 2 hour drive was closer to 8. All-in-all, worth the effort to get to totality.

  43. David Jorling
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Saw the total eclipse as part of a 3 day program at Oregon State University. This was the most extraordinary natural observation of my life. OSU put on a great scientific program which included about a dozen lectures, visits to labs, and other scientific experiences. Well worth the trip, despite the 4 1/2 hour drive home to Portland. It was reassuring to see so many people interested in Science.

  44. Posted August 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I was very lucky to have my uncle suggest an excellent viewing spot outside his hometown of Perryville, MO. We were just about a mile from the center line, and NASA says we saw 2:39.6 of totality, but it felt like 20 seconds, tops. My 11 year old was over-the-top effusively grateful, and even my blase, almost-14 year old had to play the cool teenager, I know he was impressed, too.

    Weather was a worry through the 1st half of the event, but the few clouds cleared up (maybe due to loss of solar heating/convection, or maybe just dumb luck). Traffic was no problem. Made the 4-hour trip back east with just a few slowdowns…most everyone was headed north to STL, MI, IA, WI, etc, and google maps routed us along some country highways with no traffic and we made great time.

    If you saw 99% of an eclipse, you still haven’t seen one. At 100%, a cosmic switch gets flipped, and things get weird. I can’t imagine that staring at the black disk inside the sun’s corona could ever get old. I hope to be able to find a way to chase more of these before the US gets repeat performances in 2024 and 2045.

    Just a weird and beautiful experience that no words will ever ever ever describe.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted August 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. I’ll never forget taking the glasses off and looking up at that totally weird phenomenon where the sun had just been.

  45. Mike McCants
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    We watched totality under perfectly clear skies in western Nebraska. A rooster crowed once and a dove coo-cooed once. The sun is supposedly “quiet”, but the corona was pretty large and spectacular in my opinion.


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