July 24, 2017

"Some 12.2 million people live within the 70-mile-wide band where the eclipse will be total — and millions more are expected to travel to witness it firsthand."

"From Oregon to South Carolina, hotel bookings have skyrocketed. Charleston, SC (where totality will be visible for more than a minute), is almost at capacity, with some lodgings having sold out two months ago. In Oregon, cases of motels dropping reservations and then attempting to resell them for up to $1,000 a night have gotten so bad that the state’s attorney general has opened an investigation.... Two-thirds of America lives within a day’s drive of the path of totality, and highways could turn into the Great American Traffic Jam. For a New Yorker, the fastest route to totality is a 10-hour drive down I-95 to the vicinity of Santee, SC. The problem is that that’s also the 'fastest' route to the eclipse zone for 74.4 million other people along the Eastern Corridor. As [retired NASA astrophysicist Fred] Espenak put it: 'Surfaces are gonna be stressed.'"

From "This August 2017 date could paralyze America" (in the NY Post).

ADDED: Can some of you experts advise us on what kind of equipment we'll need to look at the eclipse? Is something like this good enough? Should we spring for these?

AND: These look excellent.

78 comments:

David Begley said...

Nebraska in the path. Crazy predictions about visitors.

Gahrie said...

I'll sit in my air conditioned living room and watch it live on HD TV.

Gahrie said...

and probably have a better view than most....

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sounds like a great time to do something else that might otherwise be crowded.

rehajm said...

Fair to ask how many of those 74.4 million give enough of a damn they will take the time off from work/school? That said the exit off I-95 in Santee, SC that will see totality can't handle more than a few hundred vehicles. Even South Carolina has been encouraging people to get out on Lake Marion, which has limited services.

Yikes...

exhelodrvr1 said...

In-laws are driving out from CA to our home in Lincoln to watch it.

Kevin said...

Can some of you experts advise us on what kind of equipment we'll need to look at the eclipse?

Do not look at the eclipse!

Henry said...

I think I'll walk out to my back yard in Massachusetts and just squint for a few minutes.

My father-and-step-mother-in-law, on the other hand, live in Tennessee quite close to the Eclipse path. They moved to Tennessee to get away from those 74.4 million people.

ddh said...

The last time I watched an eclipse, a Seabee gave me a welding mask. It works really well for safe viewing of the sun.

Henry said...

Can some of you experts advise us on what kind of equipment we'll need to look at the eclipse?

Peanuts, 1963.

So How's the Eclipse

Lance said...

There's no functional difference between the linked shades. They'll both work just fine.

If you're nervous about staring at the sun with any type of eye shade, consider a simple pinhole projector.

Clayton Hennesey said...

The first pair of glasses linked is quite sufficient for viewing the sun, the second awesome for sex (copper, no spikes).

Be advised that B&H Photo (among probably others) is including 5 pairs of the cardboard glasses for free with their solar camera filters.

Solar filter material can also be purchased by the sheet.

Henry said...

The whole sequence of Peanuts strips about the eclipse, starting with July 15, 1963, is pretty good.

Peanuts, July 15, 1963.

Virgil Hilts said...

"So you flew your Lear Jet to north of Scottsbluff to see the total eclipse of the sun. . ."
Nebraska - it's where you should be all the time!

Rick Turley said...

I bought a bunch of these to hand out. Former acquaintenances are crawling out of the woodworkd wondering if we could put them up for a couple days.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XPT2LL3/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Darrell said...

Rather than looking at the Sun, look at your surroundings. The light and the shadows will be different than you normally see, and your brain will register it.

Clark said...

The goggles look cool, but I need something that goes over my glasses. I got the cheap but certified kind.

rhhardin said...

Go for the partial eclipse and just look at the tree leaf shadows. Nothing else is as impressive.

tcrosse said...

You'll also need some pots and pans to bang on to make the sun reappear.

Virgil Hilts said...

Hotels cancelling reservations after realizing that they can re-book at a higher price -- I actually very briefly researched this issue once (whether a would be renter can get specific performance from an innkeeper); there seems to be very little modern case law on the question but some of the older cases suggest that so long as alternative inns exist, specific performance will not be available. Also, my guess is that modern hotels give themselves various easy rights to cancel in their standard Ts and Cs.

mccullough said...

No light, but rather darkness visible.

Darrell said...

Welding helmet (or dark welding goggles.) Get it at Harbor Freight or Chinese sites if you don't weld.

Unknown said...

The first option in eyeglass filters is just fine, the second one looks like an expensive gimmick.

rhhardin said...

I flew down to Wallops Island in 1970 for that eclipse, saying outside their restricted zone and over the Atlantic.

Not that impressive. The size of the shadow is okay, with blue sky around it in the distance. Wallops Island fired off some missles to probe the ionosphere.

Original Mike said...

The cardboard glasses are fine. You need them for the partial phase of the eclipse. You can take them off during totality.

Trumpit said...

I mentioned in another post that "fullmoon" lives on the dark side of the moon. The full eclipse of the sun is a good metaphor for the blind, destructive ignorance of the Trump administration with chief ignoramus being President Trump himself. An eclipse is also a good metaphor for the nasty, opinionated, Right-wing commentators on this blog. They are hopelessly blind to reality. They also are generally bullies who will threaten anyone with whom they disagree. These obnoxious commenters basically live at this blog demonstrating that they have no lives outside of this blog, and showing the world how utterly repulsive they and their ideas are. Some software programmer needs to invent a "blog disinfectant" to wipe blogs clean of foul posts by frequent absurd comments like "bad lieutenant," who is definitely morally very bad, and "Michael G" who is obnoxious, insulting and opinionated to the hilt.

Original Mike said...

"Not that impressive."

I'm speechless.

Ficta said...

While the sun is totally eclipsed, you may look at it safely, and, in fact, you will not be able to see it through sun-safe glasses. More here

MikeR said...

Go into a closed room and turn the dimmers down. When they get to off, wait for ten minutes, then slowly turn them back up.
This isn't hard.

rhhardin said...

The hype is interested in hype. I'm just saying it's just what you've seen better a thousand times on TV, only with the added incentive of damaging your eyes.

Look at things around you. Leaf shadows, how other shadows fall. It's completely different in a partial eclipse with the light source being smaller.

Original Mike said...

"I'm just saying it's just what you've seen better a thousand times on TV,"

Having also seen a total eclipse, I'm here to say that you are (respectfully) nuts. TELEVISION!?!?!?. Why even bother? Just catch it on the radio.

rhhardin said...

I microfilm printed a diffractive lens in the 70s, when I had corporate computer equipment to do it, that did a nice job of focussing the sun on a wall.

Original Mike said...

Actually, you probably will catch it on the radio.

rhhardin said...

Well, it is not worth the effort, is all I'm saying. Don't feel urged to join the crowd.

If it's on the radio, that's fine. You've seen a thousand of them. A word picture is great.

Trumpit said...

I meant to point out, "Michael K," as a blatant, and flagrant bully on this blog. Maybe I called him, "Michael G" thinking the "G" stood for goon, although "K" can stand for kook.

rhhardin said...

If it's not overcast, I'll look at the shadows. If it's overcast, I'll ignore it completely.

Bob Ellison said...

Kevin is correct. Don't look at it! Weird flamma rays come out of eclipses that can blind you in a fraction of a second. Don't even go outside! Hide in a closet.

rhhardin said...

I like darkness but I can get it at night.

As to what thw sun looks like, that's a thousand times better on TV. It's not in addition in 3D or anything in real life. It's 2D lust like the TV.

rhhardin said...

You could do a reading of Bataille's "The Solar Anus" to get into the moment.

lgv said...

I shot many images of last year's eclipse on a boat in Halmahera Indonesia. The cheap glasses are acceptable. They just aren't very comfortable. I would spring for the $4 per pair ones.

I also used a 10x ND filter for shooting from a 300mm lens. As soon as the sun is almost covered, you take the ND filter off.

http://i.imgur.com/nZExx7L.jpg

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you're where you should be all the time
And when you're not ..."

For the most "authentic" place to view the eclipse, I nominate the Indian Head Casino on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon. The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort would be more authentic, but the Japanese booked it first.

First runner up goes to St. Joseph, Missouri. Sadly, the Transit Hotel, where my grandparents always stayed when they made their annual trip to St. Joe to sell their hogs, is long gone.

The least authentic place to view the eclipse is Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The best value, with minimal chance of clouds and lowest cost, is likely to be the bus station in Grand Island, Nebraska. No one in the jet set crowd is going to think to buy up bus tickets to Nebraska. And you don't really need to stay overnight in Nebraska, just get on the next bus and go back home.

Clyde said...

I scheduled my vacation this year so I can go up and visit my brother in Kansas City that weekend. We're going to road trip up to St. Joseph on the 21st, since the path of totality goes right over there. We lived there as kids decades ago, so it's a visit back to an old home. There's a large park where we used to play that should be an excellent viewing spot.

lgv said...

BTW, I bought the $32.99 Green Shade 14 Solar Eclipse Glasses on Amazon. If you are going to splurge, get these much more comfortable than goggles.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

tcrosse said...
You'll also need some pots and pans to bang on to make the sun reappear.

I LOL'ed.


Also, the googles in the second link are Tres Steampunk!

urbane legend said...

I have grandchildren. What good is an eclipse?

George M. Spencer said...

Wonder what Camile Paglia will have to say about this....what doth this forebode!

Ann Althouse said...

"Also, the googles [sic] in the second link are Tres Steampunk!"

Yes, and did you notice: "Additional Clear 50mm lens included allowing glasses to be reusable for costumes parties and more! You will find ways to make use of these goggles for the rest of your life and without a doubt you are going to have the coolest Solar Eclipse Photography photos to post on social media."

Earnest Prole said...

During the totality you need no safety glasses whatsoever (and if you wear them you would likely see nothing anyway). During the partial eclipse leading up to and following the totality, you'll need safety glasses to see the thing at all, but if you wait for and see the totality with no glasses you'll have little desire to see the partial eclipse with glasses.

madAsHell said...

The in-laws are driving down to Salem, Oregon, but could not find accommodations for the night. They will drive down early, and expect to return the same day.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Trumpit, you are a sick woman (I hope) who needs help. It seems you are losing the ability to function in normal society. Please resume your medication and seek assistance.

Original Mike said...

I have a pair of these.

Yancey Ward said...

I am fortunate to live just a half-mile north the cut-off line. I hope to view it from my sister's home which is in the 2-minute eclipse zone in Lenoir City, TN. However, this is east Tennessee, and while odds are pretty good the day won't be overcast that time of the year, it is still isn't nearly as certain as it might be in places like Nebraska and further west.

I think the big factor here, though, is that this is the first total solar eclipse visible from the lower 48 states since 1979. However, there is another in 2024 that runs south to north up through the middle of the country (one spot in Kentucky/Illinois) will have the second of two total eclipses in 7 year period. And if you live long enough, there is another on nearly the same path as the one in August in 2046.

If you are going to travel to see it, I would suggest you leave at least 4 days before. You wait until the day before, and I feel you won't come close to making it- it will be the traffic jam of all time.

Yancey Ward said...

As for viewing it- either of those options is safe. As a commenter above wrote, however, find some trees whose leaves cast shadows on the ground- that is way cooler and amazing- I once viewed a partial eclipse in Atlanta that way in 1994, and it was amazing since it was a nearly cloudless day that day.

PresbyPoet said...

Went to the 79 total. Well worth it. The difference between a 99% eclipse and 100% is night and day.

A total eclipse makes actual physical changes. You feel it get cooler as the moon's shadow passes over. The change in temperature causes wind to blow. The interaction of celestial objects causes change here on earth.

During the short period of totality you can see the Sun's corona, any solar prominences,things you can only see during the short time the moon eclipses the sun. So you want a cloudless sky to be able to "see" the sun. Eastern Oregon has the best historic record for luck with clouds on August 21.

Made motel reservations last year to go to Oregon.

Yancey Ward said...

A mistake I made- that was supposed to be August 2045, not 2046.

Quayle said...

I'm not sure what glasses to wear. Just make sure to get the tin foil hat constructed and positioned properly.

Christy said...

Looks as though I might need to leave super early to drive the thirty minutes to my cousin's house in Lenoir City. I swear we always have a brief thunderstorm in East Tennessee at 3 p.m. every August afternoon. Seeing an eclipse at 2:30 will be iffy.

Yancey Ward said...

Quayle, it is best to have the hat surgically and professionally attached.

Howard said...

Inexpensive Welding Glasses Options

MountainMan said...

I live just a short drive from being directly in the path in East Tennessee but I will skip it, the birth of my new granddaughter in Atlanta will get higher priority.

EDH said...

"But momma, that's where the fun is!"

Rusty said...

My welding helmet filter goes to twelve. I also have a smaller filter i'm going to tape to a GoPro

Jose_K said...

I used a cheap version of the first one , handed out by the American cultural center, back in 1998 and it was good enough.
Once it is total, most people watch without protection ( wise or not)

Jose_K said...

A total eclipse makes actual physical changes ..and the best part. animals ,act as if the night had come

Jupiter said...

The pinhole camera provides some magnification, if you use a large box, and you can use it to look at the sun any time. Although it's not very interesting right now, no sunspots. And the tree-shadow is really just a bunch of naturally-occurring pinholes. As the leaves move about, you can see some fairly sharp images of the sun, focused by the gaps between the leaves.

Michael K said...

We've had to cancel a trip to see my wife's oldest son in Oregon because they are right in the path of the eclipse and the hotels are all booked for the rest of the month.

It is the Oregon wine country but this is a new thing. He builds custom homes and the B&B he finished last summer is not yet open. We were going to stay there.

Kevin said...

Beer goggles will definitely not work.

jrapdx said...

This will be the third total solar eclipse I've witnessed. It is an amazing experience, but I'm not concerned about looking at the sun, it'll be on all the TV stations guaranteed. And all over the 'net, no shortage of images, videos, closeups of the corona, etc.

No, the best part is simply how it gradually gets inexplicably dark, and quiet. And then gradually light again. All in a few minutes. It really is magical.

Have (confirmed) hotel reservation in central Oregon, supposedly the place in the country with the best shot at clear skies at the time of the eclipse. When I made the reservations months ago prices were insane, like $900 to rent an improvised room over the garage in someone's house. My biggest fear is roads will be all choked up making it hard to get to the right latitude to see full totality. It's all part of the adventure.

southcentralpa said...

The jackasses at the school board thought that that would be the perfect day to open school. Sometimes, you need to open schools on a day that isn't Monday ...

Big Mike said...

It will be almost 90% of totality from my back yard deck. Why go anywhere.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Big Mike said..."It will be almost 90% of totality from my back yard deck. Why go anywhere."

Because the difference between 90, or even 99%, and 100% is the difference between night and day (as someone said upthread). It ain't "linear". Trust me on this.

sane_voter said...

I am 6 inches from her vulva, why go any further?

Original Mike said...

What sane said.

Fred Drinkwater said...

NASA did several missions in totality paths, flying westerly, following the spot of totality. This gets you tens of minutes of totality. They used a Convair 990, NASA 711, which was later destroyed in a midair collision over Sunnyvale CA which killed all but one of the 990 crew, and the Orion P-3 crew.
So be safe out there...

Rance Fasoldt said...

Our daughter and son-in-law are flying from Newark to Bozeman, then coming to see us in Big Sky, MT. Then, a 500-mile drive to Casper, WY, $600 for one night at Motel 6, and 500 miles back to Big Sky. We'll go out on the deck, see 98% of the sun covered, then walk back inside and have a drink.

TennLion said...

NASA safety guidelines: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

gnome said...

I wouldn't cross the street for a 99% eclipse, but I'd travel halfway around the world for a 100%.

Not to the US though. Your police have a way of shooting innocent people from Australia, and there's no telling why.

Gary Potter said...

You don't need to buy anything. During the partial phase, use a pinhole device or try to be near a tree with light filtering through the leaves, both of which have been mentioned by others. (The sight of a hundreds of refracted partial eclipses under a tree is unique.)
During totality, look at the sun; enjoy the corona (which can be seen only during an eclipse); after looking at the sun for twenty seconds, look around you and enjoy the shadows, the birds, the temperature, looking off in the distance and seeing a bright day beyond the totality; then look back at the sun. It's not to be missed. Thinking that it's just as good to see it on tv is a delusion.