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Total Solar Eclipse, April 8, 2024


wxsniss
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1 hour ago, AstronomyEnjoyer said:

To get photos like the above you need to use a complex filter setup https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen-alpha#Filter This is going to sound trite, but if you want to know what the sun really looks like, step outside and look at it.

I figured you have to be in space to know what the sun really looks like.  Because here colors are refracted and scattered by earth's atmosphere.

 

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1 hour ago, MarkO said:

Left Thornton once I saw things were starting to slow down going through Franconia notch. My plan was to take the Kanc west from exit 32, which added 15 minutes, but avoided all traffic. Decided on Burke and I think it was a better plan than Jay, or Pittsburg, NH. I can honestly say it was a more incredible experience than expected, and that tends to be the general experience of those who were fortunate enough to experience totality. Google maps was useless. I took as many back roads as I could including dirt, and it still took me 4 1/2 hours to get back to my cabin. My buddy that went to Pittsburg didn't get back until 3AM! 

The most interesting thing happened a fraction of a second before totality. There was a flash of light going from what appeared to be from northwest to southeast. Almost like when an airplane shadow passes over you, except the opposite. I'm still trying to get video of it. 

Video from my drone at about 3000' as totality approaches: 

 

I see that here a lot living near JFK airport, it's the oddest feeling when an airplane eclipses the sun it creates a "flash shadow" that confuses me for a second until I realize what happened.

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1 hour ago, CT Rain said:

My parents drove to Danville, VT to a brewery I found online. I told them to leave right after totality and they managed to hit no traffic at all coming down 91. Made it back to New Haven in like 4 hours.

In Dallas there was no traffic either… seems like everyone who worked downtown stayed home. No rush hour and just the coolest of vibes. 

It's why I liked the idea of making it a national holiday

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1 hour ago, MarkO said:

I noticed that too, a fraction of a second before totality. My brother and I simultaneously yelled out "what the f... was that?" The only thing I can think of was maybe some impact from whatever miniscule moon atmosphere refraction of sorts. 

Imagine if the moon actually had rings like Saturn does, you'd experience multiple flashes before the real eclipse.

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8 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

I figured you have to be in space to know what the sun really looks like.  Because here colors are refracted and scattered by earth's atmosphere.

 

True, but on a clear day with the sun overhead, you get a fairly good representation of how it looks. The Sun's photosphere is around 5700k, and to make a comparison to lightbulbs, most at that temp/color are described as "cool white" or something similar. So if you were in space, the sun would appear white.
 

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2 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

We've been talking about it a lot today (obviously) but for me it was this cool vibe that nothing else in the world seemed to matter yesterday.  Politics, money, worries, how much you hate your neighbor, etc... the entire lead up throughout the day was this universal knowledge that something wild was about to happen and the anticipation of it.

Then when it happened, to have every single person and humanity as a larger collective just get their mind-blown, led to this feeling of togetherness that we don't often get these days.  Everyone is so divided on every topic but this was one thing that humanity agreed upon for a day.

I said it yesterday and I'll say it again, I really did not understand the profound awesomeness of it.

Great post, and exactly captures the vibe.

People who haven't seen totality think "profound", "stunning", "otherworldy" adjectives are melodramatic... they are not.

Aside from a sight so alien to anything we know, and on a scale that reminds us how small we really are, the vibe was magic. Strangers were enthusiastically nice to each other. The camaraderie of witnessing something amazing that makes all our divisions seem so stupid.

I fully appreciate why some people are brought to tears, and why people chase these experiences that you may only get with optimal conditions once or twice in your life. 

It's like pressing a "reset" button to momentarily wipe all our man-made bs.

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1 hour ago, MarkO said:

I noticed that too, a fraction of a second before totality. My brother and I simultaneously yelled out "what the f... was that?" The only thing I can think of was maybe some impact from whatever miniscule moon atmosphere refraction of sorts. 

Another poster identified the phenomenon as shadow bands. Worth googling, had no idea about it prior. 

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50 minutes ago, wxsniss said:

Some comparisons to 2017 observed in Gallatin Tennessee:

- seemed larger to me, not sure if the moon was closer to us this time

- much more noticeable temp drop in 10 minutes before, I'm estimating 62F to 50F with noticeable breeze

- red solar prominence at 7 o'clock, so cool that everyone saw that

- "shadow snakes" on snow piles, only happened minutes before and after totality

For better or worse, did not even try to photo the eclipse... wanted no distractions from taking it all in during totality so only a set-it-and-forget-it video.

That's me pointing up in the center:

image.png.faa755ccd81a7765a4b0687d74b9c941.png

 

Photo from my brother who flew to Cleveland:

image.thumb.png.0439608493b088e5c1324c93bd286a43.png

We may have been feet from each other!   I took few pictures since I felt all the stress of that in 2017 was a distraction.  Besides, my wife took videos and she laments the distraction…lol.  But she also acknowledges that unless you’ve seen totality you haven’t had the eclipse experience.  She downplayed everything and just went along and now realizes it’s an incredible and rare experience.  You did better getting out of Newport!  It took us longer.

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Hopefully it's encouragement to get out and talk to your fellow humans in real life.  A good reminder that the divide is only how one perceives it, especially if your perception is driven entirely by what you see and read online.  And, a really good reminder (as someone said earlier) that we're (us, individually, right now) a microscopic spec of dust in an ocean of space and time and the human plight means nothing in the grand scheme of things.  If you don't get that perspective through psychedelia, this is as good and as close as you'll get.

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Just now, weathafella said:

We may have been feet from each other!   I took few pictures since I felt all the stress of that in 2017 was a distraction.  Besides, my wife took videos and she laments the distraction…lol.  But she also acknowledges that unless you’ve seen totality you haven’t had the eclipse experience.  She downplayed everything and just went along and now realizes it’s an incredible and rare experience.  You did better getting out of Newport!  It took us longer.

How funny! We are 2 for 2 for impeccable total solar eclipse locations.

I actually somewhat regret not taking 10 seconds for a photo of the eclipse with my wife and I and setting in the background... it's fading like a dream now, so I wish I had a visual reminder.

Yeah the exit from Newport was something. The parking lots were full when we arrived so we parked in some private house that opened up their driveway to cars ~ 1 mile away and were so generously guiding people (imagine that in Boston, they'd charge $50 a spot). So we had the walk back, then slow crawl drive to center of town, stopped at the "City Cinema" for bathrooms, and next stop Boston 2am. Extreme, but absolutely worth it.

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Just got back from Burlington to New Hartford.  Traffic for a Tuesday morning was pretty heavy, but nothing like yesterday.

Absolutely nothing compares to this.  Amazing seeing the wall of darkness race out of the Adirondacks across Champlain followed a couple minutes later by the wall of light doing the same.  A couple of coworkers were saying that we were at 92% that should be close and I was not really sure.  Glad I made the trek because this ain't like grading and exam 92% does not equal 100%.

Great photos everyone - I quickly gave up and just drank it all in.

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5 hours ago, HIPPYVALLEY said:

My coworker said there’s still traffic coming back from northern Vermont.

Apparently Franconia Notch cleared out around 0330 and then there was additional traffic this morning.

Taking three lanes and cramming it into one is not a recipe for success, I guess!

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2 hours ago, AstronomyEnjoyer said:

True, but on a clear day with the sun overhead, you get a fairly good representation of how it looks. The Sun's photosphere is around 5700k, and to make a comparison to lightbulbs, most at that temp/color are described as "cool white" or something similar. So if you were in space, the sun would appear white.
 

That's natural because all life on earth is adjusted to sun as our "white balance" but it's interesting that G type stars like the sun are considered yellow on the H-R diagram.

It's also interesting how life on planets that orbit other stars would see different colors-- for life on a planet that orbits a red star for example, that red star would be "white".  Any plants on such a planet would be a different color too-- likely purple.  On earth, green maximizes the energy available from photosynthesis while on a planet that orbits a red star, purple would be most efficient in converting that sun's light into energy.

 

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3 hours ago, CT Rain said:

My parents drove to Danville, VT to a brewery I found online. I told them to leave right after totality and they managed to hit no traffic at all coming down 91. Made it back to New Haven in like 4 hours.

In Dallas there was no traffic either… seems like everyone who worked downtown stayed home. No rush hour and just the coolest of vibes. 

Dallas also has from satellite maps the instance of the cumulus clouds dissipating as the solar radiation decreases and totality passes, then increasing back. Just very cool to watch.

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12 hours ago, weathafella said:

Incredible day!   Newport was perfect for the show.  Unobstructed view including just spectacular beads as the sun re-emerged.  I echo Ryan’s observation-this one was better than 2017 in my view.

It took 90 minutes to get out of Newport-then 9.5 hours thanks in part to something crazy on 93 S near Franconia.   Still worth the sacrifice.  I can’t imagine I’ll be here for 2044 but there’s one in Spain 2026 and Australia 2028 I’ve got my eye on.

I think that's three lanes of traffic squeezing into one!

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5 hours ago, MaineJayhawk said:

Not so random - I know a guy who went there!   Craig Shaknis.  tbh, I don't even know where it is .. lol!

I was telling a coworker that maybe it’s the chase experience that benefited me—I was in and out with ease. I figured that being in Houlton would’ve risked more travel difficulty leaving. 
 

2 hours ago, powderfreak said:

We've been talking about it a lot today (obviously) but for me it was this cool vibe that nothing else in the world seemed to matter yesterday.  Politics, money, worries, how much you hate your neighbor, etc... the entire lead up throughout the day was this universal knowledge that something wild was about to happen and the anticipation of it.

Then when it happened, to have every single person and humanity as a larger collective just get their mind-blown, led to this feeling of togetherness that we don't often get these days.  Everyone is so divided on every topic but this was one thing that humanity agreed upon for a day.

I said it yesterday and I'll say it again, I really did not understand the profound awesomeness of it.

Yep. It’s almost indescribable. Now imagine seeing it a thousand years ago. :lol: 

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Caught the eclipse in Monson, Maine after deciding the longer drive (without traffic) would be better with fewer clouds (none) and probably less traffic. Especially once we saw Franconia backed up before dawn. Zero traffic up the Turnpike and past Waterville; saw some exiting traffic in Newport so got off onto 152 near Pittsburgh. No traffic to Guilford, then I made a mistake of listening to my dad telling me to get onto a back road instead of Route 6 because Google Maps said to. The issue was that it was "junior" to Route 6 in the merge in Monson, and backed up a mile. No cell service, so Google didn't expect or detect the traffic, so kept pushing people that way. We were well into totality and it eventually stopped in Monson, a few miles shy of meeting friends who had flown to Greenville.

The event was spectacular watching across a snowcovered lake. Surrounded by white snow I took my sunglasses off before totality; didn't need them.

I had spotted the car so we were the first ones out of town. The Monson traffic had been a blessing in disguise, as we would have been stuck in Greenville for an hour. From Abbott, we did an end-around of Guilford to avoid that bottleneck, west on 16 and south on 151. Amazing to go through towns with 50 people and see people at every turnout and every clearing. That was a good choice, although 151 had a 20 minute backup into Athens since, again, it was "junior" to the other road. I had originally plotted a route onto a road which would be out of the way by 2 miles but avoid the merge. It would have been faster, but wasn't a dealbreaker. A bit of traffic crossing Kennebec in Hinckley and then freeflow to Portland for dinner.

Drive time under 5 hours each way from Boston. Route planning almost as exciting as the event itself!

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3 hours ago, tunafish said:

Hopefully it's encouragement to get out and talk to your fellow humans in real life.  A good reminder that the divide is only how one perceives it, especially if your perception is driven entirely by what you see and read online.  And, a really good reminder (as someone said earlier) that we're (us, individually, right now) a microscopic spec of dust in an ocean of space and time and the human plight means nothing in the grand scheme of things.  If you don't get that perspective through psychedelia, this is as good and as close as you'll get.

Great point. The eclipse experience was an open door for millions to share in our collective humanity. That’s why people love it so much, largely because that door is rarely opened in our current society. Imagine if responsible use of psychedelic drugs was the norm. World would be a better place. 

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We were picking up a buddy in Concord NH, then destined to N VT.  That sort of limited our ability to choose routes and so there we were ... in the Notch, Canon on the left, the Lafayette sisters on the right, car fronts nearly tappin' car butts the entire 12 or whatever miles of bottle necked nimrod civil-engineering that is through there. 

Took us ~ 2 hr and 15 min to squeeze through but then 75 mph on the other side the rest of the way up. We made it in time, though.  We were going to hit Lyndon State University/college but we were cutting it close; St Johnsbury area was well enough inside the totality region and would do just fine.  Pulled off for a random meadow right around about 2:pm.  10 minutes later there were many cars pulled over with us.  Small families here ... nerds with telescopic lens tech there.  One dude had a welder's mask that looked just exactly like a Storm Trooper's helmet.  

The dimmer switch turning down became noticeable around 40% ... we all seemed to agree.  It was subtle yet palpably,  a "weird looking day light" permeated the ether of air and sky from that point onward. That's what really stood out, that eerie kind of sun light still shining. The air seemed to almost shimmer with a silvery translucence.  My friend leans in, "It's like the sun shining on Mars"    ...Around that point, ... nearing 60%, we noticed that sun on your face and arms, though still shining, delivered almost no discernible heat sensation.  May as well have been as impersonal as a flashlight ... Slowly the dimming continued. 

Just then... nearing ~ 95% eclipse, we saw a remarkable sight. The shadow of the moon specifically darkening the SW-W horizon.  The day was so fantastically lucky, too.  For although it was entirely clear overhead and around the vicinity of the sky that hosted the enfeebling sun, a high layer of cirrus wisps existed just to the S. It betrayed a rather discrete edge where on one side, pale sun still lit the clouds, on other ... disappearing into that darkened deeper blue abyss. This line of shadow extended both above the clouds to space, and below in the air extending toward the ground.  I wonder if we would have noticed this at all if not for those clouds enhancing that boundary. As we stood there amazed by that spectacle of like divine scale ... suddenly, the thumb and finger on the dimmer switch turned the dial the rest of the way all at once, and the pallid light was abruptly gone.  The whole crowd erupts in cheering and applauding. 

It wasn't completely like night though.  We were in totality, no doubt, but it was more apt to suggest it was like that 30 minutes passed sunset, the dim side of dusk on a summer evening.  

And yes it is true... the temperature crashed some 10 or 15 F.   It was 64 on the dash when we rolled up.  About 3 minutes after totality ended and the lights in the grand auditorium had risen like a minute past final curtain call, we spun tires to get the hell ahead of the traffic tsunamis going the other way...  The dash thermometer was 49.

Venus and other stars were visible in the navy blue-black sky surrounding the blackest black you can imagine, about the size of your thumb nail at arm's length.  It was a black hole. Perfectly circular, demarcated by a fuzzy umbra of light emanating in all directions. The corona.  I thought of a Quasar in the moment..heh.  There was a tiny orange-red diamond of light, just a pin prick in size around the SE quadrant during totality - we later learned this may have been a Prominence, maybe even a CME underway.  

Just f'n wow man.    

 

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5 hours ago, MarkO said:

Left Thornton once I saw things were starting to slow down going through Franconia notch. My plan was to take the Kanc west from exit 32, which added 15 minutes, but avoided all traffic. Decided on Burke and I think it was a better plan than Jay, or Pittsburg, NH. I can honestly say it was a more incredible experience than expected, and that tends to be the general experience of those who were fortunate enough to experience totality. Google maps was useless. I took as many back roads as I could including dirt, and it still took me 4 1/2 hours to get back to my cabin. My buddy that went to Pittsburg didn't get back until 3AM! 

The most interesting thing happened a fraction of a second before totality. There was a flash of light going from what appeared to be from northwest to southeast. Almost like when an airplane shadow passes over you, except the opposite. I'm still trying to get video of it. 

Video from my drone at about 3000' as totality approaches: 

 

Mark,  great video.  Even as you panned around you can see how fast the light was changing over Burke.  Those strange light ripples you saw are called Shadow Bands.  It is a very unique phenomena.  Many scientists were setting up experiments to try to catch them as it is not very well understood.  They can best be seen over bright surfaces and the snowcover provided that.  I never noticed them in Aruba.

As far as traffic goes I figured Franconia Notch was going to be a Sshow.  I am very active on our  Newfound FB Group and I posted several times about the eclipse.  I suggested taking Rt 25 west towards the Connecticut River and going north but staying on the NH side and getting as far north as possible.  Then crossing the bridge in Monroe NH to get up to St Johnsbury.  From what I heard that the route worked well no backups at all.  From Thorton it might have been better to go south on Rt 93 to Plymouthhead west then north.  None of that matters anymore.  As long as you got to see it you did well.   Again, great drone video.

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