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Hoosier

August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse

51 posts in this topic

Well, the time is coming, as we are now just about 7 weeks away from this majestic occurrence.  

Just some general background information on this eclipse.  Total solar eclipses are visible somewhere on Earth with some degree of regularity, but it is very unusual to get one in your country, and even more rare if you're lucky enough to get one in your backyard.  The last total solar eclipse to occur in the contiguous US was back on February 26, 1979, and the last one to occur in any part of the Midwest was on June 30, 1954.  This upcoming total solar eclipse will also be the first one since 1918 to have the path of totality crossing all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and will be the first one to be exclusively visible over the United States landmass in many, many hundreds of years (in other words, you can't be in any other country if you want to see this total solar eclipse).

Here are some maps courtesy of Michael Zeiler at www.greatamericaneclipse.com

You must be somewhere within the outlined zone to see this as a total solar eclipse. Not 50 miles away, not 10 miles away, not a couple miles away.  And the closer you are to the center line, the better.  Not to say you won't have a decent show outside of the zone, but in weather terms, it's a bit like the difference between a 6" snow and an all out 3 foot blizzard.  For anyone outside of the total eclipse zone, it will look a bit like the May 10, 1994 annular solar eclipse.

Eclipse2017_USA.png.6572baf559b8cf53b647a259c3ec7df0.png

 

TSE2017_state_overview_Missouri.jpg.0a05dcefb506f618eae1e7c45615fa60.jpg

 

TSE2017_state_overview_Kentucky.jpg.6d3a8fdcae60345ea45ad571266efefa.jpg

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I have heard that hotels in/near the totality zone are filling up fast, especially out west where clouds are climatologically less likely. Fortunately, many of us live close enough to be able to drive to the totality zone on the same day.  Obviously, weather will be so critical.  Hopefully the weather pattern is such that clouds will be at a minimum.

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Yeah I've been waiting for this for years.  I'm already off that day, and kind of thinking about taking Tuesday off in case I have to drive further away if needed due to clouds.  It's going to be a surreal experience to be sure.  Can't wait! :tomato:

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I hope to be in the Carbondale/Marion IL area that day.   Have been waiting years for this as well.  If it's cloudy and you are in the path of totality I presume it will still get dark like night.  Don't know for sure.

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39 minutes ago, Powerball said:

I guess it's time to plan a trip to Nashville...:scooter:

Yeah, that's a good spot if you want the experience of viewing in a big city.  They are the biggest city that is fully within the total eclipse zone.

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I'm fortunate enough that my house is fully within the path of totality. I will see no less than 45s of totality even if I don't leave my driveway. I'm still considering driving deeper into the shadow path, but MoDOT is already warning people here to expect "massive" traffic problems so I don't know if it's worth it yet or not.

From a scientific standpoint there are some interesting meteorological phenomenon that will be researched. This could (and probably will) be the most studied eclipse ever.

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10 minutes ago, bdgwx said:

I'm fortunate enough that my house is fully within the path of totality. I will see no less than 45s of totality even if I don't leave my driveway. I'm still considering driving deeper into the shadow path, but MoDOT is already warning people here to expect "massive" traffic problems so I don't know if it's worth it yet or not.

From a scientific standpoint there are some interesting meteorological phenomenon that will be researched. This could (and probably will) be the most studied eclipse ever.

Besides weather, traffic is one thing I'm concerned about.  With modern transportation and the interstate system, there is no analog for this particular eclipse in the United States where such a long zone from coast to coast is in play. There's no telling how many people may try to get into the path of totality, perhaps some at the last minute.  Definitely add plenty of extra time if you're driving on the day of.

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I may go up to some dusty dirt road near Casper WY for the eclipse. It is looking kind of unlikely for me, personally though. Thankfully, it's usually sunny in the mornings here and I may get to see the partial eclipse from town.

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I'll likely be heading to northwest Missouri if clouds aren't an issue.  Nebraska will be the 2nd choice, and if clouds impact both of those areas then southern IL it is.

I'll likely have a gopro capturing the scene, but I'm not going to be snapping any pics other than that.  Just gonna hang out and watch it go down and soak in the experience.

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11 minutes ago, cyclone77 said:

I'll likely be heading to northwest Missouri if clouds aren't an issue.  Nebraska will be the 2nd choice, and if clouds impact both of those areas then southern IL it is.

I'll likely have a gopro capturing the scene, but I'm not going to be snapping any pics other than that.  Just gonna hang out and watch it go down and soak in the experience.

Based on what I've read from people who have witnessed total eclipses, they recommend not getting too caught up in taking pics and just taking in the surroundings.  All kinds of crazy things will be happening, from stars being visible to animals/insects getting fooled into thinking it's night.  

My preferred target area is IL/KY (probably KY)... that area will spend some of the longest time in totality (even though we are talking about a matter of seconds difference).  Hoping to do the whole trip in one day but it will require a very early departure time to get in place.  

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2 minutes ago, UMB WX said:

Perfect time for a  forum meetup. Eclipse chase would be fun.

Could we go to Colorado ;)

Yeah, if anyone wants to coordinate travel plans, feel free.  Might be tricky to pull off something organized though as people have different preferences on where to go and the possibility of having to move around.  I guess we could all head to bdgwx's house. ;)

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6 hours ago, Hoosier said:

Yeah, if anyone wants to coordinate travel plans, feel free.  Might be tricky to pull off something organized though as people have different preferences on where to go and the possibility of having to move around.  I guess we could all head to bdgwx's house. ;)

Lol. Head on over. I can't guarantee I'll be home, but you're all invited to hang out in the middle of the cul de sac. :) 

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The St. Louis NWS office says there is a 25-35% chance of clouds at 1pm and < 10% chance of rain on Aug. 21st based on climatological averages.

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Yeah, if anyone wants to coordinate travel plans, feel free.  Might be tricky to pull off something organized though as people have different preferences on where to go and the possibility of having to move around.  I guess we could all head to bdgwx's house.



My moms house is in the path of totality, in Mineola, MO just off I-70. She has about 15 acres and a large open, mowed field surrounded by forest, just a perfect place to watch and experience it. I'm going to make the call on whether or not to go down once the forecast gets into NWS point and click range. If I go down, you guys are welcome. I'm sure this thread will stay active and I'll chime in as we get close to the event, if there's anybody without a plan yet that is looking for a place to experience it.

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I've thought about going to central Missouri.  It's certainly an interesting event, but I doubt I'll be excited enough to want to drive for 4.5 hours to see a 3 minute eclipse, then drive 4.5 hours back.  We'll see.

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50 minutes ago, hawkeye_wx said:

I've thought about going to central Missouri.  It's certainly an interesting event, but I doubt I'll be excited enough to want to drive for 4.5 hours to see a 3 minute eclipse, then drive 4.5 hours back.  We'll see.

The partial phase lasts 3 hours so as long as you have eclipse glasses you'll be able to observe it for a long time. Also, based on what I've read once you've experienced one eclipse you'll want to do it again. It's also said that there is a night and day difference between being in the full shadow and the partial shadow...literally. So make sure you get to the full shadow.

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By the way, it should be noted that many in this subforum will get the chance at another eclipse in 2024. That one goes through Indiana and will last 4 minutes. So while most people never get the opportunity to see an eclipse ever in their lifetime we'll all get two chances!

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1 hour ago, hawkeye_wx said:

I've thought about going to central Missouri.  It's certainly an interesting event, but I doubt I'll be excited enough to want to drive for 4.5 hours to see a 3 minute eclipse, then drive 4.5 hours back.  We'll see.

Yeah the relatively short duration of totality makes the whole drive thing sound a bit crazy if you think about it lol.  It's a once in a lifetime kind of experience though, so I think a long drive is gonna be worth it. 

I like the idea of finding somewhere out in the country away from large cities, and even smaller towns.  An area where on a normal night there is little if any light pollution from surrounding cities.  I think the maximum effect will be seen in areas like that.  

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17 minutes ago, bdgwx said:

By the way, it should be noted that many in this subforum will get the chance at another eclipse in 2024. That one goes through Indiana and will last 4 minutes. So while most people never get the opportunity to see an eclipse ever in their lifetime we'll all get two chances!

Yep, pretty remarkable.  That one will be even better in some ways as the totality zone is wider and it lasts longer (over 4 minutes I believe).

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Here is some news coverage from the last total solar eclipse in the lower 48.  They mentioned that the next one wouldn't be until 8/21/2017.

 

 

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8/21/17 is a Monday too.

What the heck, might as well make it a long weekend.

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13 hours ago, Hoosier said:

Yeah, that's a good spot if you want the experience of viewing in a big city.  They are the biggest city that is fully within the total eclipse zone.

The only thing about Nashville is that their downtown area has a severe shortage of hotel rooms (especially with it being a tourist destination). There will be about 10+ more high-rise hotels that are coming on line within the next couple of years, but they're still in the construction / development phase. 

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11 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

Here is some news coverage from the last total solar eclipse in the lower 48.  They mentioned that the next one wouldn't be until 8/21/2017.

 

 

 

Watching that made me even more excited about next month.  Sad that the anchor of this segment died just 4yrs after this, and has now been gone 34yrs.

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After 2024, the next total solar eclipse in this region won't take place until September 14, 2099.  There will be several more in the US prior to that though.

21stCenturyNorthAmericanEclipses.png.a16286347fadebe8fc03d8c027bce98b.png

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Looking at videos of past total eclipses, it's not difficult to imagine how people many hundreds/thousands of years ago before scientific understanding would've been scared to death at what was happening. Not only with how dark it gets, but how fast it goes from sorta dim to really dark.

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8 hours ago, bdgwx said:

By the way, it should be noted that many in this subforum will get the chance at another eclipse in 2024. That one goes through Indiana and will last 4 minutes. So while most people never get the opportunity to see an eclipse ever in their lifetime we'll all get two chances!

I'm really looking forward to this one as I'm nearly at the center of the path.  The bad thing about this one is that it's on 4/8 and weather figures to be a lot iffier.

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