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Author Topic: Total Solar Eclipse across the USA
Tatiana
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August 21st, 2017. Who's going to see it?

NASA map of the path of totality.

[Party] <-- wearing their eclipse glasses.

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PanaceaSanans
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Not me, unfortunately. [Frown] I think I've only seen a total solar eclipse once, in 1999. But I did enjoy both the total lunar eclipse and the partial solar eclipse of 83% (without eclipse glasses, I must admit) we had last year.
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Darth_Mauve
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I live in a small town along the path. The City elders are already planning on promoting veiwing-tourism.
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Jake
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Hmmm...this might be a good excuse to go back home to visit friends and family in Kansas in a little less than a year. My hometown is just a little south of the path of the eclipse, but not by much.
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theamazeeaz
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I want to see it and live within reasonable driving distance from full eclipse. I don't own a car, so I need to find some interested co-workers and a plan to optimize odds of getting clear skies based on average weather and rainfall. Hopefully I can just freeload on some of my organized coworkers, who would also be interested.

I'm worried hotels are already booked at this point though.

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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
I'm worried hotels are already booked at this point though.

What, almost one year in advance? Do people really do that?
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Tatiana
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I thought this video "flyby" was pretty cool.
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Darth_Mauve
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Missouri Wine Country is right in the middle of the path. Just saying, great vacation potential.
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Tatiana
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Here's another good site with lots of eclipse info.
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FlyingCow
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Almost a guarantee whatever my wife and I do to see it, it'll be overcast. That's just our luck with these types of events.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by PanaceaSanans:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
I'm worried hotels are already booked at this point though.

What, almost one year in advance? Do people really do that?
Yep. Even though the hotel sites (trip advisor, hipmunk) won't let you put that far in advance, the individual hotel sites do. I just checked availability for a few hotels in a nearby city that looks promising (they're having an event for the eclipse) and nothing at at least two hotels. Really I should just drive for four hours that day (hmm, relatives will put me an hour closer, hmmm).

While most of the USA will see an eclipse, only a very narrow stretch will see totality which will be up to 2.5 minutes or so, depending where you are. You have to find whatever little town is under it AND generally has sunny weather.

I know someone who was leading an eclipse tour abroad for a university alum group (actually I know two people who do these, and one person who was qualified to do it, but lost out to one of those other two people and was jealous). It happened I was traveling to that city, and I was tasked with asking lots and lots of questions about the best spots within the local area to go to avoid clouds and a bad horizon. It was nearly a year and a half before the event.


Sky and Telescope magazine usually partners to make two week tours in whatever exotic places these usually happen.

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PanaceaSanans
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Thank your for the detailed response. I really didn't know this kind of astronomy tourism existed. Although I am tempted to visit places with really good telescopes. Like Mexico. Which is almost 10000 km from here and it's not like I would be allowed (or able) to use it.^^ But the thought sure is tempting. So far, the coolest things I have seen using my "christmas trash telescope" are the rings of Saturn and the double star Albireo in Cygnus. Also, the finderscope is broken, which doesn't exactly make it easier. [Big Grin] So I contented myself with learning the constellations for the time being.
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Darth_Mauve
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Astro-Tourism is a thing, and as been for quite some time, Carly Simon's big hit "Your so vain" from 1972 has the line:

"Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun."

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Glenn Arnold
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I traveled to England to see an eclipse in 1999.

This time I'm traveling to the Oregon desert to see an eclipse. I figure my odds are way better of actually seeing it.

Coincidentally, the first (and only) total eclipse I actually saw was in the Columbia River gorge in Oregon.

Oh, and I plan to see my sister for the first time in many many years.

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theamazeeaz
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England? Do they even know that that big yellow thing in the sky is over there?
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Tatiana
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Almost a guarantee whatever my wife and I do to see it, it'll be overcast. That's just our luck with these types of events.

August afternoons in the South where I plan to see it are often overcast. But the only other total solar eclipse I saw was in Guatemala City in 1991. A group from the university made a day-trip to the coast where it was predicted to be clearer, and they were completely clouded in. I stayed in the City in the plaza near my hotel, and though we had some clouds, they cleared up for totality. So it's just luck.

But wow such a show! I wanted to quit my job and become an eclipse chaser after it. That one, by dint of going total in both Guatemala City and Mexico City, was seen my more people than any eclipse in human history.

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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Astro-Tourism is a thing, and as been for quite some time, Carly Simon's big hit "Your so vain" from 1972 has the line:

"Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun."

Woah.^^


quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
I traveled to England to see an eclipse in 1999.

That one was my first and - so far - only total eclipse. And it was beautiful.

quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
This time I'm traveling to the Oregon desert to see an eclipse. I figure my odds are way better of actually seeing it.
Oh, and I plan to see my sister for the first time in many many years.

Sounds great. [Smile]


quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
But wow such a show! I wanted to quit my job and become an eclipse chaser after it.

That does sound like a fun job.^^ And it's less dangerous than chasing hurricanes...

[ September 13, 2016, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: PanaceaSanans ]

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Darth_Mauve
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Eclipse Facts:
A solar eclipse is when the Moon gets between the earth and the Sun

In a narrow swath, all sunlight will be blocked, plunging that part of the earth into darkness

Just south of Carbondale, Illinois wll be the longest duration, 2 minutes and 41 seconds

This is part of a series; the longest will be in 2522, and will last over seven minutes

First total eclipse visible in the US since 1979

It will be the first path of totality that will cross both coasts since 1918

This will happen again in 2045

Special boxes must be designed to reduce the risk of blindness; even staring at the diminished corona can be dangerous

The moon has been gradually moving away from the earth; it is this fact which allows it to be in exactly the right spot to block the sun

The moon is 400 times closer to us than the sun

The 'umbra' is a full blockage; the 'penumbra' is only a partial blockage (fun with words; umbrella?)

The moon's shadow will race across the landscape

The ancients believed that an eclipse meant the Heavens were angry with us.

In ancient China, two court astronomers were beheaded for not being prepared for an eclipse

In 603 B.C. a solar eclipse stopped a war between the Medes and the Lydians.

Helium was discovered during the solar eclipse of 1868

The British granted the rebelling colonists permission to document an eclipse behind enemy lines in 1780; science triumphing over politics

I manage an entertainment company. I am tasked with creating an "Eclipse Magic Show" for libraries in the mid-west. We are going to make the sun disappear.

The hard part, making it come back.

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theamazeeaz
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Fun! More facts.

You don't really need a special box to look at the eclipse (though you could probably do something with a pinhole device), just eclipse glasses, which are basically the cardboard 3d glasses with black panels, and cost all of a couple of bucks. Companies started sending me free samples earlier this year, best junk mail ever I won't pass their names along, but they are easy to find. Mylar works too, don't know if it's *officially* recommended (that didn't stop me and others from using it at the transit of Venus, and event that no one currently living will ever see again).

Eclipses happen twice per year, when the moon crosses the sun's line of nodes, the "season" lasts about a month, and there may be lunar eclipses two weeks before or after a solar eclipse.

Not all solar eclipses are total eclipses. Because the moon's orbit is not completely circular, its distance from the Earth varies over the course of the year. If an eclipse occurs when the moon is far from the Earth, it doesn't cover the whole sun, and an "annular" eclipse occurs. Theses are also known as "ring of fire" eclipses.

NASA provides predictions for eclipses spanning 5000 years from -1999 BC to 3000 AD.

One cheap way to watch the eclipse is through a "pinhole projector" that you can make from cardboard.

https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/make-pinhole-projector.html

This same effect is why yeclou can also see a zillion mini suns being partially eclipsed if you look through at the shadows made by leaves.

http://petapixel.com/2012/05/21/crescent-shaped-projections-through-tree-leaves-during-the-solar-eclipse/

Eclipses were also used to test Einstein's theory or general relativity, by showing that stars that passed very near the sun had their light deflected (it will be so dark that you can see stars during totality).

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Eclipse Facts:

Special boxes must be designed to reduce the risk of blindness; even staring at the diminished corona can be dangerous.

Actually, it's perfectly find to look at the solar corona. The solar corona is the name for the super hot (millions of degrees) diffuse plasma which surrounds the sun, and only visible without a coronagraph during totality (the only time you can take off your eclipse glasses).

The word you are thinking of here is photosphere.

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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
The moon is 400 times closer to us than the sun

I think you might have meant 400 million.
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theamazeeaz
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Nope, 400 is correct (well, actually 389, but that's acceptable rounding).

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=moon+earth+distance
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=1+au

Dividing these two numbers is an exercise for the reader. Mind your units!

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Sean Monahan
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Ah, yes, you are correct. How embarrassing. I'm currently employed as a mathematician.
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