August 21, 2017

The sun rises again, not knowing or caring...

... about the United States, where millions are motoring to position themselves in a shadow the moon will cast — for a couple minutes — on a place called the United States.

P1150077

That's a photograph I took just now from our backyard in Madison, Wisconsin. The sky was very orange at that moment, but the orange has dissipated in the couple minutes it's taken me to get the picture up here.

Yes, we will not be among the millions in the moon shadow. It's not that we didn't plan. We were onto the eclipse very early and had hotel reservations in Boise, Idaho, which looks like just about the best place to be. But we canceled. It was one of the many things we could have done, but clouds got in the way.

ADDED: I seriously considered hopping in the car and barreling down to Nebraska — not worrying about hotels, just sleeping in the car when necessary. But here's the morning weather report for Nebraska:
The morning showers and thunderstorms could leave some significant cloud cover over parts of the region through Monday afternoon, leading to potentially difficult eclipse viewing in some locations, the National Weather Service office in Valley said. However, a few breaks in the clouds cannot be ruled out. In southeast Nebraska, there is a good chance of high-level clouds, but they may be thin and broken with peeks at the sky possible. Looks at the sky may be more possible closer to the Interstate 80 corridor and north, the weather service said.
That's where I'd be, on I-80. But what's I-80 going to be like today — especially if people start chasing the breaks in the clouds? I'm picturing people pulling over everywhere on I-80 and then just even stopping right in the lanes and the whole thing becoming an insane parking lot. Then everyone runs out of gas, including the gas stations, and we have to wait until the federal government saves us.

At CNN, it says:
"This will be like Woodstock 200 times over -- but across the whole country," said Alex Young, solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
I missed the real Woodstock too. I had a ride and all, but I couldn't afford the $17 ticket and how was I to know people would just tear down the fences and get in free? And yet my friend who would have driven me there came home and told me that with all the rain and mud it was impossible to enjoy "unless you were part pig."

88 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

The left is permanently in the "where the sun don't shine!" camp. For the rest of us, it's an unusual experience.

Kevin said...

Yes, we will not be among the millions in the moon shadow.

Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow---
Leapin and hoppin' on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow---

Ann Althouse said...

I did contemplate a last-minute drive, barreling down to Nebraska and sleeping in the car for a night or two.

I have my special glasses. Got them at Walmart. But in the end, thoughts of clouds and traffic kept me grounded.

Lyle Smith said...

I don't have the special glasses. Will probably be in an office building surrounded by other tall buildings. Might walk around and enjoy the weird light without looking up.

I hear it will pass over Texas in 7 years. NASA knows, I am sure.

rhhardin said...

I was out before sunrise this morning to experience the earth's shadow totally obscuring the sun.

They're forecasting thunderstorms at the moment of maximum eclipse (87%) but I bet the forecast model doesn't take into account reduced solar heating.

87% is also the cloud cover forecast otherwise.

If there's a clear moment, photograph the shadows of things.

rhhardin said...

Kroger is out of eclipse glasses sorry for the inconvenience, according to a sign yesterday.

I assume reporters will be sent into the field to interview blind people tomorrow.

Humperdink said...

I am surprised the Left did not call for the feds to distribute free eclipse glasses. It was a winning issue for them. Trump would have said nyet. Then, as the people roll into the ER's across the country with eye damage, the Lefties could have pinned it on him, which they will probably do anyway.

(Only half kidding here.)

rhhardin said...

The radio is recommending Carbondale IL but I see they have clouds forecast 77%. It will, however, be dark.

Yancey Ward said...

As of right now, it is supposed to be cloudless during the eclipse here in eastern Tennessee where I will be in a few hours. Good luck to all who have a chance to see it.

Laslo Spatula said...

1. What an amazing thing to see!

2. Don't look at it!

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

Do you think anyone will actually go blind?

How come on normal days, no one screws up and looks at the sun too much? It's right there, day after day, demanding attention. Yet we don't look and we're not constantly told not to look.

Do you think some people are going to look just because they're being told not to look? People are thinking, surely half a second is okay. I mean isn't half a second okay? I'd assume even a tenth of a second isn't okay, but I'm sure I've looked a the sun many times.

Yancey Ward said...

I think the tendency is to only look at the Sun during rise and set when the power is much reduced by the fact you are looking through a lot more of the atmosphere because of the angle. When was the last time you looked up into the Sun at midday, even for a second?

Will some go blind today? If Hillary! had won, probably not- our government would be protecting us. In the age of Trump, I expect a land of the blind.

Phil 3:14 said...

The sun doesn't rise. This is one time where the passive is appropriate .

How would say that?

Tank said...

97% here, but we have lots of friends who drove last night to places where it will be 100%. I'm going to watch on TV probably, if at all. Radar looks pretty good, forecast partly cloudy.

I feel like I should be more interested.

William said...

I saw an exclipse. It must have been back in the sixties because everyone was playing that George Harrison song, Here Comes The Sun. It's certainly unusual to see darkness at midday, but it's not that much of a wow in my estimation. The special effects they produce for movies are much more awesome.

Yancey Ward said...

Well, Ms. Althouse, if you can live to 2099, you can see one from your backyard.

rhhardin said...

The sun is brighter than it looks when it's mostly obscured so the eye doesn't protect itself.

William said...

To get the full effect of the eclipse, you need to be an illiterate peasant living a Bronze Age village. They were really awed by such phenomena.

rhhardin said...

It's supposed to affect animals but when I got back from my excursion to totality in 1970 they reported that the airport dog seemed to be unaffected.

CStanley said...

I just bought some bootleg glasses, planning to meet hubs for a late lunch and viewing.

Months ago I was planning to purchase glasses +/- a solar viewing telescope for our family. Then waited a bit too long, then found out both kids will have viewing activities at school so I was left searching for glasses for the two of us. Bought the two pairs off a guy in a pickup truck in the Outlet Mall parking lot this morning. They have the ISO symbol but who knows. If you don't hear from me for awhile it's because I'm waiting on a Braille keyboard for my iPad,

tcrosse said...

Do you think anyone will actually go blind?

It's not the only thing I was told would make me go blind. OK, so I need glasses.

CStanley said...

I think a satellite photo showing a band of people looking up at the same time would be cool.

Original Mike said...

"We were onto the eclipse very early and had hotel reservations in Boise, Idaho, which looks like just about the best place to be. "

We are in Weiser, ID and there is beautiful blue sky at sunrise (a few wispy clouds). We started out in Nebraska a few days ago but the cloud forecast motivated us to move to Wyoming. The updated cloud forecast pushed us to eastern Idaho and then to western Idaho. Right now we are in a rancher's field (did he say his name was Yasgur?) north of Weiser awaiting the event I have been looking forward to since I observed the 1979 total. First contact at 10:10:20 MDT.

This is happening, baby!

Humperdink said...

So what's the airliner/passenger protocol? Shades down? Also, I see some airlines are offering eclipse flights.

Big Mike said...

@CStanley, shame upon you for not buying them a while ago through the Althouse Amazon portal!

Fernandinande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandinande said...

Drudge's "fake headline" right now is "Day With Darkness" with a picture of people watching a nuclear explosion, not an eclipse.

Birches said...

Wyoming is probably the place to be. Not a cloud in the sky here in Denver. Two of my kids threw up last night. They're devastated because the school has eclipse glasses for everyone. I might call and see if I can pick theirs up. We're around 90 percent coverage.

mockturtle said...

I'm here on the Oregon coast in the 100% zone, not to see [or not see] the eclipse but for my brother's memorial ceremony [he lived here and passed away in February]. Both are due to happen in two to three hours and the weather figures to be clear.

CStanley said...

I know, BigMike...but actually Its worse than that, I have to admit I've been freeloading. I don't use the portal because I have my Amazon purchases linked through a charity. Now that I've been outed and shamed I guess I'll make a Paypal donation.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We are in the 90% zone, just south of Oregon. The sky with the rising sun right now is blood red/orange colored due to the smoke from lightning strike started wild fires.

I believe the peak is about 10:15 am or so for us, so we will sit on our back deck facing east and sip some coffee with our trusty solar eclipse glasses that our local non profit library has generously given to the community.

JMS said...

High wispy clouds in the southern sky above Grand Island at 9:30, but I think they'll burn off by noon. You can always do Carbondale, IL in 2024.

Big Mike said...

Sorry, CStanley. Did not mean to offend.

Skies right now could not be more clear (but we will "only" be at 85%). Unfortunately accuweather.com and the Weather Channel both predict clouds will move in just as the eclipse starts here.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Um,,,,we won't actually use our glasses to sip the coffee. Those we will use on our eyes for the occasional peek at the sun. We will also look at the ground under the trees as recommended for the filtered through the leaves view.

I'm curious what the cattle below us and the many birds that we have in our area will do when it gets dark.

CStanley said...

We were going to watch from Woodstock (GA) actually but have decided on Marietta instead.

@Big Mike- no problem, it was the nudge I needed.

mockturtle said...

Although I just used PayPal I won't be using it in the future, as they have seen fit to drop Jihad Watch from their clientele. I have been reading Robert [NOT Richard] Spencer for years and find him highly intelligent, knowledgeable and informative. But the SPLC has JW on its 'hate group' list and and if you're on their list, all 'woke' companies will be pressured to refuse your business. So I shall in turn refuse to do business with these companies. This will only get worse as these leftist agitators continue to win.

cf said...

I drove 20 miles this morning to get into a totality zone. Am parked along the tractor road of an expanse of oregon farmland that is sweet as can be.

Have no glasses, will make do with my cereal box and a glimpse of the transformed cosmos in the 80 seconds or so that this spot will grant me.

May we all be in a fine alignment whenever we find ourselves this day.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Fernandinande said...
Drudge's "fake headline" right now is "Day With Darkness" with a picture of people watching a nuclear explosion, not an eclipse."

Drudge seems to have lost it.

JMS said...

I've been surprised by the number of people in the path of totality who say they don't think this is a big deal, because they've seen a partial eclipse and weren't that impressed. On CBS Sunday Morning on Aug. 13, Fred Espenak, Mr. Eclipse, said "Comparing natural phenomena on a scale of one to ten, a partial eclipse might be a three or a four. A total eclipse is a million!" I've been repeating that to everyone who says they don't know if they'll watch. Lots of businesses, schools and colleges in the path of totality will be closed for at least an hour if not more.

Tank said...

OK, now it's all clouds and raining (hard).

Southeastern NC.

7% of clouds is clouds.

Marc Puckett said...

I stopped using PayPal after they made a great fuss about the North Carolina bathroom nonsense. It is a great pity that they've insulted Robert Spencer in this way. They imagine that we don't pay attention.

Earnest Prole said...

I'm at the center of totality in eastern Idaho near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, waking up to perfect blue skies. Boise (or anywhere in the hundreds of miles between here and there) would have been a perfect choice for viewing, since it's high desert with generally sunny, clear weather. And media reports of ApocEclipse have proved, unsurprisingly, greatly exaggerated.

Birches said...

Just picked up the eclipse glasses. The school was very nice about the whole thing. They are definitely legitimate. My son is appeased.

rhhardin said...

I flew over Woodstock. Grey early morning. Not interesting.

rhhardin said...

I see some airlines are offering eclipse flights.

It ruins the effect to be high up. You can see too far so you see lots of blue daylight all around.

tcrosse said...

There are 294 days of sunshine per year in Las Vegas. Today is not one of them.

rhhardin said...

I think (not finding it in google easily) that the solar radius in UV is larger than for visible light, and the eye doesn't take that into account since it can't see UV, which is not obscured by the moon as much. Hence don't look at it.

Deb said...

We were going to watch from Woodstock (GA) actually but have decided on Marietta instead.

CStanley - come to the library!

Deb said...

I tried to find Moon Pies. Not available on this planet, not today.

rhhardin said...

There's a ham solar eclipse contact party, but the rules are too complicated to figure out.

I discovered flipping on the radio.

rhhardin said...

The local Rush affiliate says they'll interrupt Rush for continuous partial eclipse coverage starting at 2pm.

iowan2 said...

We are close to Table Rock NE. 2 hours on 70 miles of gravel roads, to avoid stop and go traffic. Intermittent clouds. It may be a bust, but it's the journey, not the destination. We are about 10 minutes into First contact.

jaed said...

Has anyone mentioned what a cosmic (heh) coincidence it is that the sun and moon are sized and positioned such that they're the same apparent size in the sky? If the moon were a little farther away or a little smaller, there'd be no such thing as a total solar eclipse. If it were a little closer or a little bigger, you wouldn't be able to see the sun's corona during an eclipse.

It is a remarkable coincidence and may account for human development. These things drew our attention to the skies early—this weird phenomenon, inviting us to figure out why it was happening, made us aware that the skies aren't immutable and got us interested in celestial mechanics. Without this coincidence, would we be as far along as we are?

It won't last forever, either. Thousands of years from now, the moon will be closer and the eclipses won't be as spectacular. Enjoy it while it lasts.

MountainMan said...

It's a Trump-eclipse: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/08/01/the-solar-eclipse-coming-trump-country/Ldd7MhDroW1cdYCwCBoxbO/story.html

Crazy story of the week.

Got my glasses and sitting on my front porch in Cumming, GA and we are just getting started.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well. We just hit the maximum that we will be seeing ..about 90% coverage. Pretty interesting. The temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees. Noticeably cooler in just a short period of time while the shadow of the moon crawls across the sun. Refreshing actually. Eerie lighting.

This is a lesson that the global warming people are nuttier than even I imagined. And that the SUN....that big ball of fire up in the skies is the driving force of global warming or global cooling. Little ole us down here on the ground using our incandescent lights have doo squat to do with changing the Earth. We are ants blindly crawling around in the big scheme of the universe.

Now back to my regularly scheduled programing. Book work, billing, picking Italian plums from our trees and making crab cakes with avocado, mango salsa for dinner.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The shadows on the deck are pretty cool too. Through the leaves there are hundreds of little reflections of the sun showing a the sliver of the sun not covered by the moon. Little sun slivers and moon shadows scattered all over the deck like coins.

Sorry. I don't have a camera handy right now.

Perhaps others who are further to the east can take a photo. Very neat.

Darrell said...

Total bust in Chicago. Completely overcast now--threatening to rain.

tim in vermont said...

2024 totality here.

tim in vermont said...

Go to Arizona in April of 2024 if you miss this. Arizona to Maine.

tim in vermont said...

Thanks for the colander tip. Works great. Just hold it over a sheet of paper or cardboard. Dozens of little eclipses even in New England.

iowan2 said...

Totality complete. Light clouds, but we could still see and experience and see most of the eclipse. We rate the trip 100% success.

CStanley said...

Wow lots of Atlanta area folks...we should have done a meetup.

Deb, the library was my backup plan until I scored the glasses. Was afraid it would be crowded. Hubs and I are in the parking lot by Teds in Kennesaw.

Very cool...literally too, with the temp drop!

Birches said...

Hit the max in Denver. The shadows were very cool, very blurry. My son laid on the deck moaning with his eclipse glasses on. The rest of us were in better spirits.

Big Mike said...

We're right about at peak here, south of Winchester -- the sun is down to a sliver, about like a fingernail that's been trimmed. The sky was perfectly clear this morning, but just about at 1:00 -- start of the eclipse -- a large cloud moved in and is sitting still where the sun is behind an edge of it. So we get peeks and teases, but thanks to that cloud actually seeing the sun is an on again, off again thing.

I'm using the glasses we bought through the Althouse Amazon portal. Sun looks green.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, you may want to plan a trip back to Perryville in April 2024. Looks as though it will be under the path of totality for the next solar eclipse.

tim in vermont said...

The shadows of the leaves was outstanding, even here where it was only a little more than half.

tim in vermont said...

CNN says that because they can predict this to the second, climate change is real.

CStanley said...

Glad I got the glasses because even at 97% it was much brighter out than I expected and looking at the eclipse itself was the coolest part And I just lent my glasses to a couple of teenaged boys and they were so excited it made my day.

rhhardin said...

Clouds rolled in here about a half hour before maximum, so I suppose it must have been about 50%. Shadows sharpened up a good bit.

John Stuart Mill said...

I saw the total eclipse in Columbia, SC, which was one of the best spots in the country. I was not overwhelmed. It was eerie how it got dark so suddenly but I could not tell if the temperatures dropped. The street lights came on, the insects started chirping, and that was about it. I was with a group of about 10 people - including children, their dad, and some elderly folks. No one gasped or cheered and I did not feel reverential or awed.

If someone were to charge me an admission price to see it again I would not pay more than $3 and only if it includes a drink.

Patrick said...

As looking as everyone is down there, they shoulda tried that Hands Across America thing again.

Original Mike said...

Words don't do it justice. Even better than I remember from 1979. Observed through 10x binoculars. Exquisite corona, several hot-pink prominences on the northern and western limb. No Bailey's Beads or Diamond Ring on the leading edge but very dynamic on the trailing edge. Must be due to the lunar topography at the two limbs. Have to check that out.

Found I was shaking at the end of it. Hot damn!

Freeman Hunt said...

Clouds. Ah, well. The darkness was neat. Confused the birds and cicadas.

Big Mike said...

By 4:00 Eastern it was gone and so was the cloud I mentioned 1:47.

mockturtle said...

I saw the full eclipse. It was spectacular and I'm glad I got to see it, even though that was not my purpose for being here on the Oregon coast. The traffic was/is unreal.

mockturtle said...

If it were a little closer or a little bigger, you wouldn't be able to see the sun's corona during an eclipse.

There was no corona. The eclipse where I am was total.

Edward Bo said...

Caught the totality outside Kansas City today. Had to uproot twice to try to get away from the clouds. Finally stopped where there was just light high cloud cover. Could see the corona about half the time. 100% coverage is radically different from 99%!

Original Mike said...

MT: The corona is the white streamers off of the solar disk. It's the sun's "atmosphere" and you can only see it during totality. Unless you had a heavy haze layer or high clouds at your location, you saw it. Did you also see the little hot-pink prominences (the "flames" at the edge of the disk)?

Yancey Ward said...

We had perfect viewing conditions during the totality phase in Lenoir City, TN- though about 40 minutes out from totality a few clouds obscured the waxing partial phase for a couple of minutes at a time. It was really stunning once totality set in. I watched for the shadow approaching, but since we weren't at a higher altitude than the surrounding land, it sort of just jumped on me so quick I wasn't even sure I saw it coming. It was blazing hot today, but quite low humidity for this time of year, and the temperature was noticeably cooler at about 80-90% of obscuration, and at totality it felt about 10-15 degrees cooler.

I don't think it could have turned out better. I had alerted two of my sisters about the eclipse about a year ago, and they both came down with their families from the northeast, on Saturday, so I was worried it would turn out to be a bust. My two oldest nephew/nieces, two teenagers well practiced in the art of feigned nonchalance couldn't cover their delight.

eddie willers said...

It is a remarkable coincidence [apparent size of Moon/Sun] and may account for human development.

When you think of all the things that had to happen to get intelligent life such as a type GV star in the middle of it's life, placement in Goldilocks Zone (not too hot/not too cold), 23 degree tilt (seasons), massive moon (tides and menses) 70+% water, not too much oxygen, gas giants behind cleaning up debris and more, when someone say's "There's so many stars, there must be lots of intelligent life out there", I say..."Just hold on there".

I would not be surprised if we were unique in the Universe without even a Creator brought in. Science alone could explain it.

Clark said...

Not a cloud in the sky today in Rexburg, Idaho. It was truly amazing. It stayed lighter than I imagined it would until totality. In the middle of totality there was this pre-sunrise-like light 360 degrees around the horizon.

Big Mike said...

And yet my friend who would have driven me there came home and told me that with all the rain and mud it was impossible to enjoy "unless you were part pig."

Oh, c'mon Althouse. All the cool hippie chicks went nude. All us guys who weren't there know that for a fact. ;-)

mockturtle said...

Did you also see the little hot-pink prominences (the "flames" at the edge of the disk)?

Nope. I know what a corona looks like. The sun was entirely blacked out.

Original Mike said...

"Nope. I know what a corona looks like. The sun was entirely blacked out."

Where you wearing your glasses during totality?

mockturtle said...

Where you wearing your glasses during totality?

Yes. But there was quite a bit of haze where I was. I talked with some people who saw it further down the coast and they did see the corona.

Original Mike said...

My question was ambiguous (sorry). I meant eclipse glasses. If you were wearing eclipse glasses you will not see the good stuff. If there is haze, it will also attenuate the corona.

Delayna said...

Saw totality in Helen GA. Amazing doesn't describe it. Went with a bunch of my geeky friends so we enjoyed the science as well as the visual spectacle.
And yes, traffic home was epically bad. Even for Atlanta.

mockturtle said...

My question was ambiguous (sorry). I meant eclipse glasses. If you were wearing eclipse glasses you will not see the good stuff. If there is haze, it will also attenuate the corona.

Yes, eclipse glasses. I still thought it was 'good stuff' even sans corona. ;-)