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Thread: T-minus One Year And Counting: First Total Solar Eclipse in the USA Since 1979!

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by skypigeon View Post
    It gets even trickier when you start learning about the various alignments over the road's life.

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    I will probably be living in Portland Or, so i can cruise down the I-5, but not if I am too lazy to do so...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    Sure, it seems obvious, but the point is that making big stationary plans could backfire. Rain can delay events, but you can often make them up when the rain clears. An eclipse, OTOH, can be ruined by a few puffy cumulus.

    I take this seriously enough that I wouldn't dream of being stationary that day.
    How far out do you make plans? What if the closest open sky is Wyoming? Is that an option?
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  4. #34
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by window View Post
    How far out do you make plans? What if the closest open sky is Wyoming? Is that an option?
    We're going to be based in Evansville. Assuming an early enough start, we can drive four hours west or east. It's possible that we won't be able to find a reasonably clear area in an eight-hour driving range, but it seems pretty unlikely.

    I have seen the historical weather studies along the path of totality (the experience chasers have had lots of time to put this stuff together), so I am aware that there's a greater probability of clear weather west of Missouri. But with mobility, I feel confident that I will be all right.

    If money and kids weren't an issue, I'd definitely station myself out west.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    We're going to be based in Evansville. Assuming an early enough start, we can drive four hours west or east. It's possible that we won't be able to find a reasonably clear area in an eight-hour driving range, but it seems pretty unlikely.

    I have seen the historical weather studies along the path of totality (the experience chasers have had lots of time to put this stuff together), so I am aware that there's a greater probability of clear weather west of Missouri. But with mobility, I feel confident that I will be all right.

    If money and kids weren't an issue, I'd definitely station myself out west.
    OK. Post pictures. I'll be stationary. No idea where but I won't be eclipse chasing.

  6. #36
    ...and proud of it. comfortably numb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post

    If money and kids weren't an issue, I'd definitely station myself out west.
    Sell the kids.

  7. #37
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by window View Post
    Post pictures.
    The experienced chasers often say they wish they had stopped filming/clicking and just sat back and watched their first event. The duration is so short that every second matters.

    I also don't have a good enough camera to get great shots of the event in the sky, but I might take a quick selfie of the family since we're sharing the experience.

  8. #38
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    BTW, does anybody have Evansville experience with kids? Is it worth it to check out the old navy ship? Anything else? We might have a few hours to kill on Sunday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    The experienced chasers often say they wish they had stopped filming/clicking and just sat back and watched their first event. The duration is so short that every second matters.

    I also don't have a good enough camera to get great shots of the event in the sky, but I might take a quick selfie of the family since we're sharing the experience.
    I was just kidding, figuring on what you posted. Have fun. I'm sure NASA or Time magazine or some usual suspect will have coverage.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    The experienced chasers often say they wish they had stopped filming/clicking and just sat back and watched their first event. The duration is so short that every second matters.

    I also don't have a good enough camera to get great shots of the event in the sky, but I might take a quick selfie of the family since we're sharing the experience.
    It cracks me up at concerts people recording with their phones. They pay big bucks to watch a live major act on a 5 inch screen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    We're going to be based in Evansville. Assuming an early enough start, we can drive four hours west or east. It's possible that we won't be able to find a reasonably clear area in an eight-hour driving range, but it seems pretty unlikely.

    I have seen the historical weather studies along the path of totality (the experience chasers have had lots of time to put this stuff together), so I am aware that there's a greater probability of clear weather west of Missouri. But with mobility, I feel confident that I will be all right.

    If money and kids weren't an issue, I'd definitely station myself out west.
    Still plenty of seats left in my backyard. I suppose I could offer a special TF discount of 20% with the kids at half price. Let me know though, If the kiddies come maybe I can hire "Solar Eclipse Man"




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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    Your location in the St. Louis area will be crucial. The north half of the city and most of downtown are NOT in the path of totality and will miss out on the truly spectacular event. The south side will technically be in the path of totality, but totality will be less than a minute.

    You don't have to go too far south to double or even triple the duration of totality. The far southern suburbs get nearly two minutes of totality, and Washington, MO gets 2:30.

    I highly recommend looking at an interactive map like this one. Zoom in and click on any location to see the duration of totality. The closer you are to the blue line, the better.

    Also, if you plan to remain stationary, be aware that clouds could ruin everything.
    It's on a Monday which is my normal day off. I'm actually going down to my lake property and going fishing just to see if the eclipse has any effect on the fish catching. My lake property sits almost dead center of the eclipse path vs. my house which is actually in Jefferson county and in the totality path but like you said, it won't last as long as it will if I go down to the lake.

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    Subversively normal skypigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    Your location in the St. Louis area will be crucial. The north half of the city and most of downtown are NOT in the path of totality and will miss out on the truly spectacular event. The south side will technically be in the path of totality, but totality will be less than a minute.

    You don't have to go too far south to double or even triple the duration of totality. The far southern suburbs get nearly two minutes of totality, and Washington, MO gets 2:30.

    I highly recommend looking at an interactive map like this one. Zoom in and click on any location to see the duration of totality. The closer you are to the blue line, the better.

    Also, if you plan to remain stationary, be aware that clouds could ruin everything.
    Hmmm. Looks like a road trip to St. Joseph may be in the cards.

  14. #44
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    BTW, while looking for hotels around Evansville this weekend, I saw that virtually every hotel in the eclipse path in So. Illinois and W. Kentucky were sold out. I can't imagine there would normally be a lot of hotel demand in those areas in that time of year. Eclipse tourism is big business. When they occur in far less accessible places (which is normal), there's always going to be somebody there. Sky & Telescope sponsors cruises to the Antarctic and other remote places, charging lots of money but always selling out.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    I plan on being very mobile that day.

    I will stay overnight somewhere near Evansville. Then I'll head out early to the location with the best weather forecast. I'll have my favorite visible satellite web site up, and I'll drive to whatever location has clear skies heading up to the event.

    I've been waiting for this all my life, and I don't want to have to wait until 2024 (when it will come to Indy, incidentally). I won't be shut out by clouds.
    I hope you don't have the problems Sir Arthur Eddington did when he set out to view a total eclipse. He was the astronomer who used a total eclipse to prove that Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity was correct in its claim that the gravity of the sun produced a redshift in starlight passing near the sun when viewed from Earth. The eclipse blocked out the sunlight, allowing photographs of stars appearing near the sun.

    The first scientist who attempted the experiment, the American astronomer William Wallace Campbell, went to Russia for an eclipse occurring in 1914. The Russians and WWI intervened, and his equipment was confiscated.

    Eddington began planning for the next total eclipse, visible in the US on June 8, 1918. He could not go himself, so he arranged for Campbell to make the photographs for him. Campbell had not recovered his equipment from the Russians, so he was forced to use substandard cameras. The results of his photographs were thus inconclusive.

    Eddington arranged to travel to Principe, an island off the coast of Africa to view a total eclipse on May 29,1919. As this article in Sydney's Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Journal details:

    He spent a month there building the telescope but as luck would have it on the day clouds affected the view forcing Eddington to take his photographs in quick succession hoping all the time they caught the moment of full eclipse when the stars would be most visible.

    Eddington was so concerned about the results that he started measuring the plates then and there while still in the middle of the jungle. Many proved worthless but a few showed enough stars visible for him to make some preliminary results. And unlike Campbell’s, his confirmed Einstein’s theory.
    There was still controversy about Einstein's theory in scientific circles, so another expedition was arranged for a total eclipse occurring September 21, 1922 in northwest Australia. Again, the article from MAAS' Journal:

    Everyone involved in the project was well aware of how difficult this task was and that they were only one of eight other astronomical expeditions who were also setting up their equipment at sites across Australia. The largest group of observers, based near the Wallal post and telegraph station consisted of three international parties, the Lick Observatory party, under the direction of W. W. Campbell, a group from the University of Toronto, under C. A. Chant and the Indian expedition supervised by J. Evershed.

    In addition Australia provided a fourth group from the Perth Observatory. They were directed Mr. Nossiter and included Mr. Nunn, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Yates. On top of this were four others set up on the east coast under the direction of the Sydney Observatory and W. E.Cooke
    The results of this expedition's efforts proved conclusively that Einstein was correct in postulating that the redshift would occur, thus fixing his place as one of the greatest physicists ever.

    This concludes our Sunday morning science history discussion.

    .


  16. #46
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    Our tentative schedule this August is to go the the Pacific Northwest so we could probably be anywhere from Wyoming and west that day. We take our home (RV) with us. Any Walmart parking lot in the path will do. Over the years I've seen a few eclipses both partial and total.
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  17. #47
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
    Over the years I've seen a few eclipses both partial and total.
    Where was the total?

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    We are hoping to host a star party the weekend before. BYOT, BYOC, BYOB.

    (bring your own telescopes, cameras, binoculars)

    You can use ours too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    Where was the total?
    This one in Newport, RI in 1970. I was on a Navy ship.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...1970Mar07T.png

    Partial in Minneapolis and one other I am trying to remember.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    BTW, while looking for hotels around Evansville this weekend, I saw that virtually every hotel in the eclipse path in So. Illinois and W. Kentucky were sold out. I can't imagine there would normally be a lot of hotel demand in those areas in that time of year. Eclipse tourism is big business. When they occur in far less accessible places (which is normal), there's always going to be somebody there. Sky & Telescope sponsors cruises to the Antarctic and other remote places, charging lots of money but always selling out.
    Have you tried going further west? I'd suggest looking in Festus MO. Right along I-55 and almost right on the centerline of totality. It's like 17 miles south of my house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
    This one in Newport, RI in 1970. I was on a Navy ship.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...1970Mar07T.png

    Partial in Minneapolis and one other I am trying to remember.
    Hey, isn't that the one from "You're so Vain"?
    Eff LBD!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstove View Post
    Hey, isn't that the one from "You're so Vain"?
    Nova Scotia. So, maybe it was.

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    When was the last full eclipse visible in Indiana? I ask because I have a memory of being a small child, staying at my grandparents' house outside of Gosport, where I was playing inside, the TV was on, and for a short time it became dark as night in the middle of the day. Not sure if it was a full solar eclipse or just a really bad storm. I don't remember thunder and lightning, though--just dark.

  24. #54
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indyknut View Post
    Have you tried going further west? I'd suggest looking in Festus MO. Right along I-55 and almost right on the centerline of totality. It's like 17 miles south of my house.
    I'm not worried about staying the night in the path of totality. We'll be close enough, without dealing with the high demand. Evansville is also just a couple hours from home. Considering that we might be doing a lot of driving on Monday, I'd like to limit the travel on Sunday for the kids' sake.

    Also, the greatest eclipse occurs in Western KY, and there's not a significantly higher chance of clear weather in MO, IIRC.

  25. #55
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
    This one in Newport, RI in 1970. I was on a Navy ship.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...1970Mar07T.png


    Quote Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
    Partial in Minneapolis and one other I am trying to remember.
    Partials are an interesting diversion visible over much of the earth, and I've seen a handful myself. Only a couple have been memorable, including the Christmas 2000 event. The skies were perfectly clear, but there were ice crystals falling from the cloudless sky.

    If a total eclipse is the Indy 500, a partial eclipse is qualifying at Iowa.

  26. #56
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skypigeon View Post
    When was the last full eclipse visible in Indiana? I ask because I have a memory of being a small child, staying at my grandparents' house outside of Gosport, where I was playing inside, the TV was on, and for a short time it became dark as night in the middle of the day. Not sure if it was a full solar eclipse or just a really bad storm. I don't remember thunder and lightning, though--just dark.
    Can you home in on a more exact year range?

    1979 was the last totality in the continental US (an improbable drought), but it was only a moderate partial eclipse in Indiana -- not enough to really cause the sky to get dark.

    http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/eclipse/0111979/S1979Feb26.pdf

    The 1970 event was even deeper for Indiana, but again, not dark enough.

    BTW, Indianapolis hasn't seen full totality since before 1500! We did get an annular event (better than partial, but not nearly as great as total) in 1994.

    http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/eclipse/Ind...ed_States.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by window View Post
    Nova Scotia. So, maybe it was.
    And about the right timing.

  28. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    BTW, Indianapolis hasn't seen full totality since before 1500! We did get an annular event (better than partial, but not nearly as great as total) in 1994.

    http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/eclipse/Ind...ed_States.html
    That 1994 annular eclipse was in May and happened during an Indy 500 practice day. Some of the cars went out deliberately to see if they could go a little faster due to the expected cooler track temperatures Generally they did. While the maximum coverage is/was brief, the entire duration from beginning to end of at least partially blocked sunlight lasted a couple hours IIRC.

  29. #59
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctorindy View Post
    That 1994 annular eclipse was in May and happened during an Indy 500 practice day. Some of the cars went out deliberately to see if they could go a little faster due to the expected cooler track temperatures Generally they did. While the maximum coverage is/was brief, the entire duration from beginning to end of at least partially blocked sunlight lasted a couple hours IIRC.
    Right, and if you look at the map, the north end of the track was in true annularity, but the south end was not!

    https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoog...10Agoogle.html

    Total solar obscuration at the speedway was only 89%, as the moon was so "small" (near apogee) that day. I was at my high school a few miles northeast of there, and the sky had an eerie purplish tint to it. It was still quite bright -- but different. Incidentally, the path of annularity missed me by a couple hundred yards! The only part of our school property that saw an official annular eclipse was the baseball field. For me, it was just a really, really deep partial.

    Here's what it looked like in one location, although it exaggerates the darkness of the event (probably shot through a filter):



    Here's a time-lapse that shows a more realistic naked-eye view periodically (although it was still bright enough to damage the eye):


  30. #60
    iLl-enfORmed yOKel Ren Butler's Avatar
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    I know I said that partial eclipses are fairly mundane, but another one that was memorable was October 2014. You obviously can't look at the bright sun without a proper filter (which I don't have, yet). But when it's very low on the horizon, there's enough haze to make it comfortable to look at for more than a second.

    I went to the park with the family that day to get a look at it, but the sun was mostly obscured by clouds. However, just as it was about to set, it cleared the cloud deck! This is not our photo, but our view was very similar to this:


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