August 19, 2017

"Do not waste your time photographing it."

From "Five Things You Must Not Do During Totality At The Solar Eclipse."

But let me offer something for your things-to-do list: If you must take photographs, take photographs of things other than the eclipse. Maybe something about the landscape in the dark or with an approaching moon shadow. And if you're stuck surrounded by people during the eclipse, maybe get something interesting about how human beings behave, such as stupidly wasting their time trying to get their own amateur photograph of the thing that pros will be photographing to death. I'll bet lots of people will try for the selfie "Me With the Total Eclipse of the Sun." Pictures of them posing for themselves with the eclipse framed in the background might be amusing.

40 comments:

Henry said...

So it's okay to look at the sun during totality? That's the first I've heard that.

6) Do not light huge bonfires. This is just an eclipse. It is not the end of times.

Ralph L said...

They can eclipse the sun in a selfie any sunny day of the week.

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, it is ok to look without eye protection during the totality phase.

The commenter Godfather here mentioned the thing I am going to be looking for- the onrush of the Moon's shadow just before totality sets in. I plan to ask my brother-in-law or my sister to make a good recording of it on Monday.

madAsHell said...

Do not waste your time.

Bob Ellison said...

How about "me enjoying the sunshine outside the eclipse zone", or "me Photoshopping the eclipse the day before it actually occurred", or "me talking softly into my me-phone as the dogs start howling and the birds stop chirping for two minutes"?

tcrosse said...

The few moments of totality offer a fine opportunity for a skilled pickpocket.

chickelit said...

I woud like to see a satellite photo or video of the shadow moving across the land. That's not something anyone can shoot.

Quayle said...

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

Quayle said...

...everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

chickelit said...

HuffPo Headline: "Sun Gives Umbrage To Trump Heartland"

#EclipseSoWhite

chickelit said...

@Quayle: I think that memorials to Roger Waters need to come down.

Quayle said...

What are you saying chickelit?

Are you suggesting we need to tear down the wall?

madAsHell said...

Who'da thunk it?

They ran out of gasoline in Bend, and Prineville.

When the toilet paper runs out, I'm guessing they'll be groovin' on sword fern.

chickelit said...

@Quayle: I have a Google Alert set to Roger Waters and I occasionally blog updates. Over the past couple months, the alerts have morphed from fawning coverage of his tour into disappointment at his antics during shows.

Yancey Ward said...

We don't need no education.

Quayle said...

The most embarrassing trait of the baby-boomers in their older years is their instinctive and incessant opposition to "the man", coupled with their complete ignorance of the fact that they now are "the man."

The Godfather said...

Thanks, @Yancey Ward, for remembering what I wrote the other day about the 1963 eclipse. I just did a little research and found that in Bar Harbor, ME, where I was, totality of that eclipse lasted 59 seconds. How many events that lasted less than a minute do we remember 54 years later?

chickelit said...

Waters is a textbook example of becoming what you most hate.

Darrell said...

How many events that lasted less than a minute do we remember

Chuck's Honeymoon consummation attempt?

Ken Mitchell said...

As you walk along, you often see speckles of light on the ground where the Sun peeks through the trees. Each dot of light on the ground is small, natural, badly-focused pinhole camera image of the Sun. During the partial phases of the eclipse before and after totality, or everywhere outside the path of totality, each of those dots of light will be a crescent-shaped image of the eclipsed sun, and you can watch the progress of the eclipse right there on the ground.

Take pictures of the thousands of images of the partially eclipsed Sun. It's beautiful.

Ken Mitchell said...

Blogger chickelit said...
"I woud like to see a satellite photo or video of the shadow moving across the land. That's not something anyone can shoot."

NASA has posted many such images taken from the International Space Station, and this eclipse will certainly bring lots more.

Here's one, taken from the NASA "Astronomy Pix of the Day" site.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110102.html

tcrosse said...

Make sure the flash is on.

chickelit said...

Thanks for that link, Ken Mitchell.

Fritz said...

I should dig out the slides I took of the eclipse in 1979.

Yancey Ward said...

Godfather,

An interesting piece of trivia that you may or may not have been aware of, but eclipses are grouped by a mathematical calculation called the Saros Series where, within any particular series, the solar and lunar eclipses are separated from other solar and lunar eclipses by 18 years, 11 days, and 8 hours. At any given time, there are around 40 such series in progress, and they last between 1200 and 1500 years producing around 70-85 eclipses, of which they are mixture of partial, annular, annular/total, and total eclipses. Because of the 8 hour factor above, each following eclipse is shifted westward by 120 degrees each time, returning to that part of the globe every 54 years. The eclipse you saw in 1963 was from Saros Series 145, which is now giving us Monday's eclipse 54 years and 34 days later.

As an odd-numbered series, the Saros Series 145 begans with a partial eclipses in the north polar regions in the year 1639 with each successive eclipse coming just a little further south each time until, more than a millenium later, the final partial eclipse occurs in the south polar regions in the year 3009. This particular series, 145, is well suited to seeing total eclipses because the almost all the central eclipses all occur when the moon is at or near perigee and/or occur between April and November when the Moon isn't as close to the Earth as it is at perigee. This series produced or will produce only 2 annular eclipses out of 77 total, and 42 total eclipses- a high number for a Saros Series. Some Saros series never produce a total eclipse, only annular and partials, while others produce varios ratios of annular/totals.

The eclipse you saw in 1963 was the fourth total eclipse produced by series 145, and as such, was relatively short for a total eclipse at a max of 1 minute 40 seconds, but was still longer than the first one which lasted only 24 seconds in 1909. As the series matures over the coming centuries, the eclipses will become increasingly longer in duration as the Moon processes to and through being in perigee at the time of the eclipses, but will plateau for a while around 3 minutes and 15 seconds for almost 200 years as the series runs the calender between September and March during that time, since the Sun starts getting relatively larger as the Earth is closer to perhelion until just after the winter solstice. after 2252, though, the eclipses start occurring closer and closer to aphelion as they run 11 days later each cycle through the Spring and early Summer months. Eventually, in the 26th century, the series produces 3 successive eclipses that have a duration of more than 7 minutes.

While Monday's eclipse is the first in the continental US since 1979, the eclipses from Saros 139 on April 8th 2024 and then Saros 136 on August 12th 2045 are significantly longer than Monday's eclipse, and they will be 4 minutes 28 seconds and 6 minutes and 6 seconds. I hope to live to see each of them.

Rob McLean said...

Screw you, Forbes. I whitelist for no one.

tim in vermont said...

I took a pic of an eclipse in the 60s or 70s. Came out a white starburst pattern on black. I looked at it once.

heyboom said...

My wife couldn't find any eclipse glasses so I suggested the selfie thing. That is safe, right? I have heard that one shouldn't use a mirror to look at it, but I don't think a phone screen reflects like a mirror.

grimson said...

Not a photo, but it sounds like shadow snakes are the things you want to try to record with your phone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_bands

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

That's actually good advice.

There's a lot going on out there about how to go about dealing with the eclipse. It does make you wonder how much hype there is to it, or at least subjectivity. But I can't rule it out until a see one, which I fully intend to do. On Vox, they said that everything becomes 3-dimensional, as if in witnessing the universe through the full effect of the Copernican system.

It's definitely something I wouldn't pass up.

tcrosse said...

There will be some fabulous deals on eclipse glasses Tuesday on the Althouse Amazon Portal.

Jamie McArdle said...

Where we live, we'll experience about 2/3 totality. I bought eclipse glasses a month or so ago, expecting to pull the kids out of school and ask my husband to come home early so we could have a Family Experience. However... my daughter attends a suburbs-of-Houston high school with FOUR THOUSAND students, and the school has declared that no one can even go outside (I presume because the school couldn't possibly police that many kids to make sure no one stupidly looked at the VERY not-total eclipse, and they have this weird thing in this district where kids with good grades who don't miss more than 2 (if they have a B in the class) or 3 (if they have an A) class sessions can exempt their final exam in that class. My daughter, a straight-A student, nevertheless refuses to let me pull her out of school for her last two classes because, well, what if she gets sick this fall and has to stay home for more than the 2 or 3 days?

I said, "If you get sick, you'll just take the final," adding under my breath, "like everyone in every previous generation, cupcake." She then launched into an "It's my body, last I checked" thing and I made an orderly retreat. Because the LAST thing I want to do is yank her out of school by her ear, spitting between my clenched teeth, "You are going to WATCH this eclipse and you are going to LIKE it."

Meanwhile, my younger son also doesn't want to be pulled out of school; turns out his junior high is going to show the whole student body some NASA feed about the eclipse, and he'll be with his friends, so...

And my husband? Meetings all day, in windowless rooms. Or, if they have windows, he gently informs me that it will not be his brief to exclaim in the middle of a meeting, "Hey, why don't we all take a break, pass around these eclipse glasses my wife got me, and watch this rare event?"

Older son is in Seattle, so I can't share it with him, though I do encourage him to go outside and see - but Seattle is under a giant Canadian forest fire cloud, I understand. Canadians - you think they're nice, and then they pull shenanigans like this...

So it'll be me and the dog and the turtle. I intend to try to take some pix (of the leaf-pinhole-camera effect, mostly, though also maybe holding the glasses over my phone camera too) so that my family can see what I saw. On the plus side, maybe I'll have a martini. Who would care?

The Godfather said...

Hey, thanks, Yancy Ward, that discussion of the pattern of eclipses is very interesting. Are you a professional astronomer? Or did you learn all this stuff for fun? For awhile when I was in my teens I thought I wanted to be an astronomer, but when I found that I couldn't hack integral calculus I decided to seek a verbal career (lawyer, as it turned out). I'm still interested in the universe, though.

BTW, I've corrected and slightly expanded my description of the 1963 eclipse, in case anyone hear didn't see it before, particularly anyone who's on the fence about whether to go where the eclipse will be total. Here it is:

In 1963 I watched a total solar eclipse from the top of Mt. Desert (pron. “dessert”) near Bar Harbor, ME. I’ve never forgotten it. The eclipse happened, as I recall, in mid-afternoon, and my friends and I got up to the top of the mountain very early to get a good spot. We had all the right equipment, plates of “welder’s glass” to look through at the Sun without damaging our eyes; a 4” reflecting telescope fitted with a special screen above the lens, so that we could safely see the magnified image of the sun projected onto the screen. We could see the partial eclipse as the moon was eating away at the disc of the Sun. But it was totality that we were there to see.

As the time for totality got closer, we saw fog moving in from the sea into the narrows below. If the fog climbed up the mountain before totality arrived, it would block our view of the eclipse. (Two years before, my father had taken me and some friends to the North Shore of Massachusetts to see an eclipse, but there were dense clouds and we didn’t see a thing.) As the fog built up below, we looked off to the west and saw the shadow of the moon rushing toward us over the evergreen forests at 1,000 mph. Then suddenly we were in the total eclipse. The land turned dark. Birds that come out at twilight woke up and started to sing. Instead of a great blazing ball in the sky, the sun was a black disc surrounded by fire. Before totality we could only glance at it with our naked eyes, or stare at it through welder’s glass. For the 59 seconds of total eclipse (I looked the duration up just now, and I was surprised how short it was; it seemed longer), we could look at the eclipsed Sun with our naked eyes. My telescope had the proper equipment and I was able to see the eclipsed Sun and photograph it. Then the moon’s shadow passed on to the east and the fog swept up the mountain, and it was over.

After 54 years, I still remember that experience. I’ve seen the elephant, so I won’t drive down the 75 miles or so to the path of totality for this new eclipse. But if you have a chance to see an eclipse of the sun for the first time, and you are planning to skip it because you’re just too blasé and sophisticated to be bothered, please, think again. What else are you going to do that day that you’ll remember 54 years later?

Yancey Ward said...

Godfather,

An avid amateur at one time earlier in my life. I even had a book at one time that had all the Saros series eclipses (probably still have it somewhere in my collection), though with the internet such details are far more handy now.

Honestly, if you are only 75 miles away from the central path, why not make the trip if you are assured a cloudless sky?

sykes.1 said...

I have witnessed a total solar eclipse, and it is not dark at the maximum, merely a kind of twilight, but with a difference. The lighting is truly weird and emotionally unsettling. There is all sorts of diffraction going on, especially with shadows. The eerie lighting is accompanied by a noticeable cooling. A kind of fear is induced, an uncontrolled emotion.

Craig Howard said...

The eerie lighting is accompanied by a noticeable cooling.

Wha-at? Cooling? Even with all the carbon dioxide still in the air?

I'll have to think about that. It's almost as if the Sun had an effect on temperature.

Craig Howard said...

Back on topic, though.

I'm in upstate NY where the change in light will be barely noticeable.

I was required, though (I work for the Postal Service), to give two solar eclipse safety talks to my carriers. I basically told them, "DON'T LOOK AT IT!"

Deja Voodoo said...

I saw the March 1970 "Eclipse of the Century" from the MD/VA state line on Assateague, (I had hiked it the previous November, so I knew where to take my friends) a perfect viewing location, and it certainly did get dark as night, except for a ring of daylight at the horizon. Stars were visible, the birds came in and bedded down, and got back up three and a half minutes later.

Ken Mitchell said...

Blogger chickelit said...
"Thanks for that link, Ken Mitchell."

You're welcome, and here's another....

https://www.cnet.com/news/astronaut-solar-eclipse-space-station-moon-earth-photo-image-umbra-iss/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Ken Mitchell said...

One more view of the eclipse from space, from NASA's "EPIC" satellite a million miles sunward.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=90796&src=eoa-iotd