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The August 21, 2017 Great American Eclipse

431 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Freshgeek said:

To everyone who bailed on Central Nebraska, I guess I need to thank you lowering the traffic congestion, lol. Coming north from Moore, OK, I kept watching the models as they showed my original target, Grand Island, NE being under cloud cover. I considered changing my destination to somewhere in north central Missouri, as it would be about the same driving distance. If it was just me, I wouldn't stress out about this so much, but I was bringing my mom, girlfriend, and a dog with, so I felt so much more pressure.

We stopped in a McDonald's parking lot in Wichita, KS and I debated for like 30 minutes as to where to go. One model run showed that Missouri was the better choice, and the next would say Nebraska. Finally, I forced myself to choose and I decided to go to my first choice, Grand Island, NE.

The whole way there I was second guessing myself. When I wasn't driving, I was thinking about how terrible I would feel if I blew this, and I couldn't sleep. Even when we got to Grand Island, I never feel asleep as I kept looking at model data to see if we should move further west, and I never got a clear answer.

The morning comes and one of my coworkers was also going to Grand Island, but wasn't as willing to move. I could see clouds to our south and southeast, but our southwest was clear, save for a few cirrus. Time kept passing and I finally said that I'm willing to take our chances at the Grand Island Walmart Supercenter parking lot on the south side of town.

As the eclipse started, the clouds stayed away and I was paranoid that something would block our view of totality. But as we got closer to 12:58 pm, there was nothing moving into the path of the sun and moon. the lights dimmed around us, and it was a very eerie feeling. Like, if you stepped outside and had no idea what was going on in the sky, you could tell that something was off. The temperature began to drop and we could see the sliver of the sun start to fade through our eclipse glasses. Finally the sun was completely blocked and we got the experience of a lifetime.

My girlfriend had her tripod set up and was able to take some great pictures, but this one of the eclipse with Mercury to the left is my favorite.21054989_10108530669776200_7646673932752783704_o.thumb.jpg.924f9aab2f78715802a9828ac0b07884.jpg

I just sat in the grass and took it all in. The stress of planning, travel, and spending money was all worth it for this moment.

If you missed this one, start planning now for the 2024 eclipse. It will be worth it, especially if it's your first one.

We got home at 9 pm last night, and I slept like a rock.

Damn I was wondering if my choice to bail on NE was the correct one.....seems it would have been fine.....lol.....I was going to target Ravenna which is just a bit further NW OF Grand Island....

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3 hours ago, yak said:

in the quality of light even before it got noticeably darker.  Did anyone else notice that?  Images and shadows become noticeably sharper and everything becomes clearer somehow like your vision has suddenly improved and you've enter into a type of hyper-reality.

Everything does become crisper as you get to the thin crescent sun.  Usually the shadowed areas are muted in outline since the orb of the sun is not a point.  As the last rays come down it is more of a point so shadows on the ground have sharp lines.  Many people don't notice but I did.  The whole quality of light within 10 minutes is very strange.  It's a sunny day but the light is just dim, weird.  Something you can't explain to people unless you experience it first hand.  Glad it was a success for you!

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While I didn't really focus too much on capturing the moment with anything other than my two eyes and brain I did manage to pull off a few shots and a time lapse from my iPad that I set and forget.....here's three shots I managed to pull off with my iPhone.....I didn't have any photo equipment with me so my phone was my only option.....

In totality.....I had to edit the original photo and turn up highlights to get the ring.....the photo original just looks like the sun on any normal day.....

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Looking east at totality.....

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Looking west at totality.....

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The time lapse i need to upload to YouTube.....I thought it was cool and it does show how the cu field dissipated as totality approached.....stand by

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Some images from Baker City in eastern Oregon.  Looking west towards the approaching "dark spot" -- the hills are already a bit darker than the town. This would be about four minutes before totality, when the western inland counties of Oregon had totality. May have to load these one post at a time, having issues. 
 

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(b) The crowd in a municipal park in Baker City awaits the total spectacle, many using their eclipse glasses. I was thinking of going around the park selling eclipse crackers and eclipse corn chips. 

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  We packed a tent and coolers and headed out Saturday morning with an idea but no plan.   I had been watching the forecast and far western KY kept improving.  Finally chose to go "somewhere" East of the Shawnee National Forest in IL across the river in KY for a few reasons.  It was fairly close for us to drive, 300 or 400 miles.  The forecast was giving us a better than 80% chance of no clouds.  There's really nothing in that area but hills, farm land and little KY towns pretty spaced apart .  There's only a couple of places to cross the Ohio to get into that area and they're about 50 miles apart.  So I figured fairly remote, if the clouds role in to the NW in the center of the Carbondale madness, the 2 bridges are going to bottleneck the crazies trying to make a mad dash to find the sun, then that area would be a perfect place to enjoy it and not have the crowds or madness. Military strategy, we had a good defense in that area lol.  Question was where to camp?  Not knowing the area very well and unbeknownst to me, my girl got on FB and started searching for some folks in that area.  Lo and behold she started up a conversation with a wonderful couple who had a big plot of wooded land right in the general area we were targeting..  After she spoke with them on the phone and turned on her charm they said we could camp there under the condition it was just us.  They were really concerned about their property and the hype of the tons of people flowing into the Carbondale Hopkinsville corridor.  We assured them it was just us and we would gladly pay and take care of their property like it was our own.  Still hesitant they wouldn't tell us exactly where it was at, they just said call when we cross the Ohio.  When my girl told me I said hey, we either got a place to camp or we're gonna be on one of those real life mystery crime documentary's!  So we headed out and along the way we planned our escape for after the eclipse kind of making notes for escape routes if we got stuck in traffic.  

  Regardless it all worked out great when we got down there, the folks were awesomely gracious and we all hit it off and had a blast.   Come to find out they wanted to experience it in a similar manner as we did.  Alone and reflective with someone you care about. I had targeted the area south of Morganfield KY and thats where we ended up. about 5 miles from the center line.  The trip back wasn't bad.  It really paid off taking some time to plan escape routes.  We didn't spend more than 10 miles on any road with an "I" in front on the way back. Hardest parts of the trip home were the Ohio and Wabash river crossings, definitely bottle necked at both. But as soon as we crossed we hit  the secondary's and the thirdendary's and even fourthendaiy's lol.  Think storm chasing experience helped, the escape plans, plus two of us sharing the navigating and driving was a plus.  

  It truly was an awe inspiring experience, well worth the minor headaches here and there on the road.  I really can't add much more than what other's have already said about the actual event other than as awesome as it was, it was truly humbling at the same time.  Really put's you in your place in this vast universe.  Oh, and during totality , seeing it in person the pure 3 dimensional view really stood out.  Pictures and video cannot reproduce that.  Amazing!

 Besides the Eclipse we really did meet some great new friends and hope to spend some time with them again soon and repay their hospitality.  Truly wonderful and memorable all around.

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I noticed a lot of photos and videos came out too light during totality from what I experienced when showing the landscape. I edited mine to approximate what it looked like in reality as far as that goes. Some of it could also be I was within 3 miles of the center line and it would be a bit lighter toward the edge of the totality zone. Either way I am hooked and want to see another.

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We had an amazing view in Hendersonville, TN!  There were some scattered cumulus in the area.  One random cloud completely covered the sun for a few minutes (about 20 minutes before totality), but that cloud moved on and we were totally in the clear the rest of the time!  It was a very surreal feeling to look up at the sun and see a black disk.  And Venus was so bright!!  I told myself that I would just soak in the atmosphere and not worry about taking pictures during totality, but about a minute into totality I decided I needed to get a few pictures, so I took some hand-held shots of the corona.  I'm glad I did - they actually came out way better than I expected they would!  I know i can easily download photos that are way better, but these are MY photos of MY view haha

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2 hours ago, eyewall said:

I noticed a lot of photos and videos came out too light during totality from what I experienced when showing the landscape. I edited mine to approximate what it looked like in reality as far as that goes. Some of it could also be I was within 3 miles of the center line and it would be a bit lighter toward the edge of the totality zone. Either way I am hooked and want to see another.

I had the same issue and I was only about 1 mile north of the center line.  Also the camera didn't really pick up on the dimming light prior to totality.  Then again, I didn't really put any effort into trying to adjust any camera settings.

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Finally made it back to New Hampshire and what an insane couple of days! We ended up settling on a hilltop field in Vonore, TN. We had no problem with clouds in the valley, with cumulus clouds only appearing over the horizon to west and east. It was insanely awesome to see cumulus clouds dying out to west as moon's shadow approached to us as we got closer to the totality. I don't think I need to explain the rest of what the experience was like, but it was one of coolest sights I ever saw. Up there with McLean tornado earlier this year, but this eclipse has a slight edge over that due to how rare it is in United States. 

Traffic was horrible the whole trip back to New Hampshire, as I kept running into jams almost every single town on I-81 and I-84. It was awful... but it was still worth seeing the eclipse! So glad I drove south!

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