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midtskogen
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 05:25

PlutonianEmpire wrote:
Source of the post Granted my area will get 82% Totality, but since I don't have the means to get to the Path of Totality, this will do.

That's awful.  An 82% eclipse is pretty much a non-event.  If you start walking today, you might get into the totality zone in time. ;)
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midtskogen
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 08:32

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15 Aug 2017 10:32

midtskogen wrote:
PlutonianEmpire wrote:
Source of the post Granted my area will get 82% Totality, but since I don't have the means to get to the Path of Totality, this will do.

That's awful.  An 82% eclipse is pretty much a non-event.  If you start walking today, you might get into the totality zone in time. ;)

I try to be a glass half full kind of guy, so maybe it's a non-event, but for me, its better than nothing. :)

And besides, you don't know "awful" until something like this happens:

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:P
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Watsisname
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 10:46

PlutonianEmpire wrote:
Source of the post I try to be a glass half full kind of guy, so maybe it's a non-event, but for me, its better than nothing.

It is definitely better than nothing.  With eclipse glasses or a pin-hole projection you'll see a crescent Sun, and shadows might seem a bit strange -- sharper in one direction than another.  In particular, look for the shadows cast through tree leaves.  There may also be a strange quality to the light, and the sky a darker shade of blue than normal. 

Perhaps you'll be able to travel to one in the future (2024?) and get the experience of totality then. :)
 
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15 Aug 2017 10:57

Watsisname wrote:
PlutonianEmpire wrote:
Source of the post I try to be a glass half full kind of guy, so maybe it's a non-event, but for me, its better than nothing.

It is definitely better than nothing.  With eclipse glasses or a pin-hole projection you'll see a crescent Sun, and shadows might seem a bit strange -- sharper in one direction than another.  In particular, look for the shadows cast through tree leaves.  There may also be a strange quality to the light, and the sky a darker shade of blue than normal. 

Perhaps you'll be able to travel to one in the future (2024?) and get the experience of totality then. :)

Now that's what I definitely plan to do! Travel for the 2024 Eclipse. :)
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 12:08

Hornblower wrote:
Source of the post I'm SO excited for this. I'm traveling out to Nebraska, and so far the weather patterns are looking good! Has anyone here ever seen totality before? If so, do you have any tips?

I haven't seen a totality before, but can relay advice I've taken from others (Midtskogen has seen 2 and may be able to supplement this).  Actually I guess this will serve as a brief overview of all the things to do (and not to do) and what to watch for throughout the eclipse.


0)  First contact.  With filters you see a tiny nick appear in the Sun, heralding the start of the eclipse.   But even as it grows to cover about 50% of the Sun, nothing else obvious happens -- it's still a bright ordinary day, except that a piece of the Sun is missing.

1)  As partial phases get deeper (e.g. >70%, or about 20 minutes before totality), you may start to notice changes in the quality of light and shadow.  At 70% they are subtle, but will get stronger and with increasing rapidity, as totality gets closer.  It will no longer feel like an ordinary day.

2)  About 5 minutes before totality, you may notice it is getting darker in the west than in the east.  The shadow is approaching.  The light all around you will be failing, the colors fading away.  If there are some scattered high clouds in the west, you may soon notice them vanish as the shadow sweeps over them.  You may also feel it getting colder.

3)  Less than 2 minutes out, the Sun will be an insanely thin crescent and the light will be dropping dramatically.  Watch the western sky and horizon for the shadow, but also check the ground for shadow bands -- thin waves of shadow flowing and shimmering.  They're best seen on a flat, light-colored surface, like a large sheet of paper.  Shadow bands are very curious and perhaps the most rarely seen of eclipse phenomena, because usually people are looking at the sky rather than the ground at this time.

4)  In the final seconds, the crescent sun will break up into little beads of light, each shimmering and vanishing away, the last one lasting for another split second before getting sucked into the black void of the Moon.  The shadow engulfs you.

5)  Now that it's totality, it's safe to observe the Sun without filters.  Try to take it all in.  Your time here is precious and brief, and there is much to see! 

Don't take too much time to fiddle with equipment like cameras or telescopes during totality.  Make sure you observe it with your eyes (binoculars are great, too, for seeing details in the corona and prominences).  

Take a few moments to observe the surrounding sky, the colors on the horizon, and the behavior of the people and any animals around you.  Also observe the planets.  Venus will be very bright and obvious.  You might also spot Mercury and Mars closer to the Sun, and some bright stars.  (The sky during totality at Lincoln, NE)  But don't waste too much time trying to observe the stars, when you can see them much better at night.

6)  A few seconds before totality ends, you'll notice the western side of the Moon brightening, and glowing red.  This is the chromosphere, the sun's lower, reddish-colored atmosphere, reappearing.  Very soon the intensely bright white photosphere will reappear, the "diamond ring", signaling the end of totality.  Observe it for no more than 3 seconds, then look away or put the eclipse glasses back on.  At this point all the partial phases of the eclipse play in reverse.  Look for shadow bands again, and the lunar shadow sweeping away to the East.

7)  Start making plans for the next one. ;)
 
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15 Aug 2017 12:28

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post Don't try to fiddle with equipment like cameras or telescopes during totality.  Focus on observing it with your eyes (binoculars are great, too, for seeing details in the corona and prominences).  

No sir, if all goes to plan I will have around 2.5 minutes of totality to view, some of that time will most definitely be taking pictures without filters.
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 13:09

Fair point, and I'm intending to spend a few seconds taking a couple photos for posterity as well.  So let me change that to say don't take too much time with a camera.  

The thing is just that those 2.5 minutes will go by very fast, and its easy to get engrossed with trying to capture it that you end up missing out on seeing it with your eyes.  So if you do take photos, employ a strict "10 seconds for the shot, or give it up" rule.  And practice beforehand.  Know at least roughly what settings you'll be using, and actually go through the motions, with a timer, to know that you can do what you need to do quickly enough and have plenty of observing time to spare.
 
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midtskogen
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 22:18

Good descriptions, Wats.  What exactly the totality will look like, varies (the threads of the corona, red dots along the limb).  Your reflexes will tell you when to look away.  The diamond ring quickly becomes like watching arc welding, and three seconds sounds about right.
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Watsisname
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

15 Aug 2017 22:26

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Neat way to visualize how the weather forecasts have narrowed down on a solution for eclipse day.  Each frame is the GFS forecast for the 500mb geopotential height (good indicator of jet stream behavior and cyclonic systems) for Monday at 18z, and on the right side, the difference with the previous forecast (more color = bigger difference).  Several days ago the forecasts were fluctuating wildly, but now they're settling into a consistent state from run to run.  

This means forecasts are now much more reliable as far as where the big stuff (airmasses and frontal systems and so forth) will be.  The biggest uncertainties are now in the locations of high clouds (cirrus) and pop-up thunderstorms, and these will get better near the end of the week.
 
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midtskogen
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

16 Aug 2017 06:10

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16 Aug 2017 07:35

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post The biggest uncertainties are now in the locations of high clouds (cirrus) and pop-up thunderstorms, and these will get better near the end of the week.

Always the kinds of places I choose for such things
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

16 Aug 2017 12:15

So, I will miss this eclipse. US consulate is still making some "administrative checks" on my application for a visa. I had a tickets for tomorrow...
 
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midtskogen
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16 Aug 2017 12:55

That's ... sad news.  No way to rebook for Saturday and hope for the best?
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midtskogen
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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

17 Aug 2017 08:35

Oregon is now the only state that has no clouds in the totality zone!
WDTWeatherMap_August17.png

But: Eclipse traffic already backing up in Central Oregon
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