61 thoughts on “August 21, 2017: Eclipsed”

      1. WUnderground tells me it should break up a bit for you by noon... down to 81% cloud cover.
        Then back up to 96% at 1pm.

  1. We have variable cloudiness here, so at least it's not a washout right off the bat. We're heading to some friends' house within the totality band where several others are also meeting. and our hosts are making pancakes and waffles, etc. After all the warnings we've been getting about traffic, etc. we decided to leave early and hang out all morning.

  2. I feel like I must be the only person in America who really doesn't care about the eclipse. No criticism implied if you do, it just doesn't really mean anything to me.

      1. So from that, I gather that what happens is it starts to get dark. Then it gets dark. Then it starts to get lighter. Then it gets light again. Okay. Got it.

        1. I keep ribbing one of my friends who is driving 20+ hours to witness 2 minutes and 34 seconds of something.

          I actually would probably enjoy the experience myself, but it's just not realistic for me right now.

    1. Sorry, but I'm with Blixa (and Rhu_Ru):

      My plan was to go home at lunch and watch with the family, but the effort of re-commuting makes that kindof an end to my day, so I'm watching the weather. I have to decide by 10:30.

    2. I get that it's a rare event, but I have struggled to muster any enthusiasm. It's not that I don't marvel at nature—there's plenty to be gobsmacked by in the natural world that transcends one's mortality. This one just isn't my thing.

      It's overcast here today, so I'm not missing out on a mechanistic thing being thwarted by another mechanistic thing.

      1. This is well put.

        I will probably do the pinhole thing. I've seen pictures. I watched the first season of Heroes. It's plenty neat, but my excitement tends to be tripped more by matters zoological or geological than by matters celestial.

        That said, I'll echo the hope for clear skies, and offer cheers to those for whom this is their thing!

      2. It will be slightly brighter in Madison as it is on Ceres. It will be darker than it is on Mars. In Onida, SD, it will be darker than it is on Ceres and close to how the Sun looks from Jupiter.

        1. Eh, my earlier response was too snarky. Thanks, sean. I don't have any reference for what's normative on Ceres or Mars, but that's still interesting info.

          1. Neither do I. This afternoon, we both will though. This is something you're going to notice provided you have a window. You can look outside and think, this is darker than what Mark Watney astronauts on Mars will experience.

      3. My biggest focus is worrying about how the teachers at my kids' summer school, if they are planning a viewing, get a bunch of children to adhere to the 'Don't look at the sun' rule. Making the pinhole box viewer seems like something they'd do in class. Making sure the kiddos actually use it the right way, and don't get gobsmacked into looking at the sun ... concerns me.

          1. My neighbor had a plate with a pinhole and was trying to get something focused on a piece of paper. I said "If you get an image off that, I'll give you a Coke."
            Then she let my kids do it and they kept making like they saw an image and grabbing cans of soda out of the garage.

          1. #11 here has some real-life experience built into it. What the heck? I'll repost it:
            They had warned me about what would happen if I stared into the sun, but I was a heedless boy and I wanted to prove their ridiculous superstition wrong.
            From my paper route, I knew at about what time the sun rose each day, and also of a parkbench atop the river bluffs that looked down the hill and to the east.
            I did it on a Monday morning because that day’s paper was usually the lightest. I set my alarm at 5:03 instead of 5:27 and drank an extra glass of water after brushing my teeth.
            Before I left, I set a note on our sink.

            Your friends are liars, I’ll prove it. See you at 8. Tell Mom I’ll be late.

            After my route, I put my butt on the bench and got ready to start my watch’s timer. One hour should prove my point.
            I had never noticed how quickly the sun rose. It must have been three minutes tops until it was completely above the horizon. I can’t be sure, because I wasn’t going to avert my gaze.
            Ten more minutes and the orange of sunrise was gone. I was staring at the regular sun.
            Another ten and the colors shifted and changed a lot. Greens and pinks bubbled and slipped past each other. Then the whole circle changed colors: blue then orange and back, flipping every time I twitched.
            When my watch beeped, I closed my eyes hard for about a minute to rest, and smiled in satisfaction. When I opened my eyes, I could see a bit of grass out of the corner of my eyes, a washed-out blue. Nothing more.
            * * *
            Aaron found me about an hour later, still sitting. He held my hand and walked me home.

    3. I worked till 5 a.m. this morning and then slept through it (intentionally). My wife, like most elementary age teachers, was inside with students because they couldn't be trusted not to look at the sun.

  3. We're allowed to go on the roof today, so I'm excited. AMR, I took a picture of your building from the roof of mine.

    1. Cloudy here but they're thin enough that could still see the sun no problem with glasses. Saw the beginning with the 4-year-old and he was excited about it. Now waiting until maximum amount before we go outside again. Hoping the clouds don't increase.

      1. Same here. That was pretty cool. Between the partial here and the footage of the full in Oregon, I might have to make a pilgrimage.

        1. There's an annular eclipse in 2023 and another total in 2024. The 2024 one goes through Buffalo, NY. I vote we all crash FTLT for an eclipse caucus.

      2. We had small windows of openings, just enough for the kids to look up and miss it. I and HPR saw it for sure.

  4. The lightning from the thunderstorm over will do more damage to my eyes than the eclipse.

  5. It was worth it. I can't believe there are people lying in wait to mock others who witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime event. My daughters and I sat on the patio and used our cereal box viewers between card games and all three of us will remember this forever.

    1. Mocking people (rather than poking good-batted fun among friends) seems a bit much, but I can understand why that would be some folks' reaction. Being told you have to care about some cultural event or natural occurrence, or that you're Missing Out (implying you're leading a lesser life) if you don't Get It, gets old.

      I'm not suggesting anyone here did any of these things. I'm just saying it's a pretty ambient trope around whatever event reaches hype-level breakthrough in our society and in the media.

      1. I hope I wasn't to that extreme here. I'm certainly not mocking anyone one way or another, but if I can convince someone to go an extra step and catch a total eclipse, the event speaks for itself. I know all 11 at our get together were glad to have taken the time off to experience it.

            1. I didn't think you went to that extreme, either. But I also agree with CH's point that being told what you have to care about gets old in a hurry.

  6. we made a bunch of different pinhole viewers including several that you wear over your head. We brought them out to the river walk and shared them with the hustlers and tourists alike. Good time had by all, even if it was only 75% here.

  7. So, I went into this totally indifferent. Knew I had to work, and tried to pretend like I did not care. Overcast all morning up here, and tried to convince myself that I still did not care. One of my servers (not a computer) brought 4 sets of glasses. We all took turns (including customers) looking at the eclipse and had a grand ole time. By then the clouds were light enough that we saw a great eclipse. Well, not full eclipse, but it was still cool.

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