Eclipse-watchers?


#1

Has anyone made special plans, travel, or other activities to watch today’s total solar eclipse? I wasn’t able to make a trip to the path of totality, so we’ll have a partial eclipse here, but the weather is expected to be cloudy. So likely little eclipse action for me.

One of the formative memories I have from childhood is watching a total lunar eclipse while van-camping with my dad. Likewise, we got our son out in the driveway for a lunar eclipse a few years back. And when I was in high school, I saw some of a solar eclipse with a pinhole viewer. A bunch of friends of mine are right in the path today (and have gone on road trip adventures to get there) and I sort of wish I had figured out how to go and do it.

How to Stay Sane During a Solar Eclipse by Helen MacDonald is a really wonderful essay on this personal and collective phenomenon.

(Remember, gang, don’t look at the sun if you’re not properly prepared with for-real eclipse glasses!)


#2

I have a final exam for a course on natural disasters right when the eclipse is at its peak.

There will likely be questions on this exam about how in antiquity, eclipses were seen as disasters or disaster predictors. I will have to be writing out short form answers about eclipses while its happening right outside and I hate it.


#3

I’m ready 2 invade the Fire Nation


#4

I stepped out of my office building here in Midtown Manhattan, and as awe inspiring as the eclipse itself was (glanced semi-directly through the overcast sky) I think was more taken by the sight of hundreds of people lining the sidewalk on Lexington Avenue, passing glasses back and forth with strangers, giggling at the unimpressed coworkers who went straight back inside.

We only got a partial eclipse in the North East, but it was still quite the Moment.


#5

This was, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen


#6

I didn’t have glasses and wasn’t in the path of totality, if that’s what it’s called, but I did really enjoy small shadows becoming crescent-shaped. Here’s the unique texture it made on stones in my yard.


#7

You Americans get to have all the fun :unamused:


#8

My girlfriend and I went over a state to see totality and it was absolutely worth it.


#9

I was at home and far from totality, and used a vegetable steamer for an impromptu viewer. Pretty cool.

@Highwire and @HedinnWeis, wonderful photos!


#10

I just got back from seeing it in totality. I was not prepared for how spectacular it was, I was literally moved to tears.

My sister played Also Sprach Zarathustra on her trumpet as the last sliver of the sun was obscured.

Over the course of the eclipse the temperature in the air dropped 20° and bats and mosquitos came out. You can really understand why ancient people ascribed such significance to it. It’s an unreal experience.


#11

I was at about 85% coverage, but was pretty surprised by how little it changed. It was slightly dimmer and a little bit cooler, but If I didn’t know it was happening I wouldn’t have noticed. Cool view through the glasses though!


#12

We were supposed to be around 70% totality in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately a rogue cloud decided to park itself in the worst possible place at the worst possible time. This jerk of a cloud almost looks like it’s reaching out to block it.


#13

Drove with a friend from Philadelphia to St. Louis (ended up at about 14~15 hours) on the 20th to get to the path of totality and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced. I watched the partial through the glasses and you can actually see the last speck of orange disappear, and then when you take them off it’s just there like a hole in the middle of the sky, pitch-black surrounded by the corona and then dark blue. It lasted for a bit over two minutes and I was still shaking something like a half-hour after.

This is the first time I’ve seen one, and even the best pictures don’t do it justice, not just because they can’t seem to capture how different the moon and the sky around it look, but also because it’s a whole process—everything gradually getting darker until it looks like twilight, stars coming out during totality, animals behaving strangely (there was this little dog in the park with us that started barking nonstop when it started).

And now I’m in a hotel halfway back to the east coast because my semester starts tomorrow and I’m gonna need to leave at the break of dawn to get back in time, but man was it worth it.