Just got back from Middle-of-Nowhere, Idaho, still enthralled with our eclipse experience. We parked at the end of a long rocky, 2-track "road" with 19 other vehicles (all 4WD trucks), and camped overnight on Sunday. Monday morning we hiked about 3 1/2 miles up out of the woods into a high alpine basin surrounded by limestone peaks. The sun was already beginning its disappearing act as we picked out front row seats for the show. We were the only people on our knoll, and we could see only one other party in the whole basin. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and hardly any smoke.
We kept tabs on the sun's progress with our eclipse glasses, courtesy of the public library, and set up the camera for some self-timer portraits in front of the spectacular backdrop, wearing our eclipse glasses of course. (Might use one for our annual x-mas photo greeting.)
As the moon moved farther over the sun, the blue sky became a deeper blue and the air temperature dropped perceptibly. We watched the last sliver of sun disappear and then - total black through the lenses. We dropped our glasses and beheld a glowing white ring with wisps of corona streaking outward from it. A few stars popped into view. In the distance, down the valley we'd hiked up, we could see an orange glowy sunset sky where the eclipse shadow hadn't reached yet.
The two minutes passed so quickly, then the sun started creeping back. In the weak light of the re-emerging sun, our shadows were so sharp and focused on the ground, and the mountains had an almost jittery appearance. Very photogenic. Unfortunately, my camera, or my skills with it, weren't able to focus on the eclipsed solar ring. But the image is seared into my memory. And I found a rock the next day with a perfect white ring as a memento of our once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event.
One of the most interesting things I've experienced in the past decade or so.
Thank you Bixa. I tried hard to do it justice, but really, words fail. My sister tells me her town in Illinois will have a total solar eclipse in 2024. So I don't have to wait till 2040, and I'll ONLY be 70, not 87!
Don't think we've heard back from fumobici yet, and the total eclipse in Oregon. Did you get down there?
My ride to Oregon and the path of totality fell through and no Plan B was available so I made do with watching at home and a mere 92% totality experience. My disappointment is slightly tempered by the fact that I've seen very few non-professional photos taken of the total eclipse that look good, so I may not have missed a great photo taking opportunity..
BTW, our plan A, the Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley Idaho, a favorite hiking area which we'd reluctantly discarded as possibly too popular, was OVERRUN with eclipse seekers! Rangers were turning back cars TWO MILES away from the trailhead parking lots which were overfilled and both sides of the road had cars parked along them for two miles. That added 2 miles each way to the hike, and guaranteed a crowded eclipse-viewing experience. By the time people discovered this, it was too late to drive elsewhere for the eclipse.
SOLAR ECLIPSE IN THE STRATOSPHERE: You've seen pictures of the Great American Solar Eclipse from the ground, and maybe even from space. But what about from the stratosphere? On August 21st, just as the Moon was about to pass in front of the sun, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus released a network of 11 space weather balloons from 5 states in the path of totality. More than 20 cameras were waiting in the stratosphere when the Moon's shadow arrived, and they captured some truly unique images. First-look photos are highlighted on today's edition of Spaceweather.com
Did you have clear skies? 92% had to have been pretty dramatic.
You'd probably think that 92% would be pretty amazing, but as I understand it you are really missing pretty much the entirety of the solar eclipse experience at anything less than full 100% totality. It was interesting, but nothing breathtaking.
Fumobici said "You'd probably think that 92% would be pretty amazing, but as I understand it you are really missing pretty much the entirety of the solar eclipse experience at anything less than full 100% totality. It was interesting, but nothing breathtaking."
Without totality, you'd have to get creative with it. My sister saw people using saltine crackers as pinhole projectors in Illinois. I heard ordinary colanders work great, too. And as has been pointed out earlier, the gaps between leaves sprinkle crescent shapes on the ground below, or walls behind them.
Even with the 98% experience that I had about 20 years ago, it still remained "daytime" at all times. It got no darker than as though it were a heavily overcast day. But of course looking at the disc was impressive.
there was an eclipse here in 1998, but at the time i was working at a holiday camp for kids and only one or two people had thought of bringing those special glasses, so instead of really getting to experience it, we decided to keep the kids inside to make sure none looks at the sun at the wrong time, so i had to be inside, too ...