REPORTS: Total solar eclipse, August 21, 2017

Discussion in 'Sky photography' started by Todd Lemery, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Todd Lemery

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    IMG_0264.JPG Green Bay Wi
     
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  2. Tim Paitz

    Tim Paitz EF2

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    Chesterfield, Missouri

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  3. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    Blog post with account and more images:
    http://stormhighway.com/eclipse2017.php

    Fearing mid and high level clouds that were coming too close for comfort to my original target of Evansville/Baldwin, IL, I decided to head down to just north of Paducah to maximize clear sky chances. My parents drove down from Pittsburgh and were with me for the "chase".

    Surprisingly, we encountered very little traffic. We bypassed a backup on I-57 easily using secondary roads. Only a couple dozen people were roadside as we found our spot near Goreville, a half mile from the eclipse centerline.

    My cloud anxiety lasted from watching the models a week ago right up until the last seconds before totality. A congested cumulus field rapidly developed just before first contact, and I feared we would get skunked by a rogue cloud. Ten minutes before totality, a small cumulus cloud was heading right for the sun, and I almost did a panicked last-second move of desperation. But, as totality approached, the cloud just vanished, along with all of the surrounding cumulus! All that was left were a few distant Cbs as totality started.

    An absolutely amazing experience on all accounts.

    With Google maps showing significant post-eclipse traffic jams on all of the main highways, we used county roads to get back home. The return trip took about 3.5 hours (normally 2 hours via interstate).

    Some images: corona (top left), eclipse-created hole in the cumulus congestus field with towers near the edge (right) and crescent shadows (bottom left).

    eclipse1a.jpg

    Here are timelapses from the dashcam and Gopro showing the cumulus field vanishing as totality approaches and arrives.



    Realtime and timelapse of totality phase:

     
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    #3 Dan Robinson, Aug 21, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  4. J St. Clair

    J St. Clair Lurker

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    I took the advice of the HRRRx and headed to central NE. It was a gamble, as other models had been indicating a cloudy mess over most of the state. It payed off, we stopped just north of Miller, NE at the center of totality nothing with blue skies.

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  5. Jacob Hernandez

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    I was torn between Nebraska and Missouri. I gambled on Nebraska because... I actually don't have a good reason.

    Early in the morning, the models are showing heavy overcast clouds in Nebraska and a clear Missouri. I was stressing out and I felt terrible since I brought my mom and girlfriend with me for an incredible experience.

    Thankfully the clouds never were an issue in Grand Island! What an amazing show. I'm so relieved and happy!
     
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  6. Kevin R Burgess

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    A "Great" call ,on my part.... Stay still while morning convection was on-going.... Did NOT panic... Dry slot developed after convection departed....Evaluated satellite runs,and determond, staying in the KC,metro was the best option...(Actually heading east was a better option)
    Saw full eclipse in Richmond,MO.....
    Could have,& should have headed east,to Columbia,MO.but yet, experience tells me different,when trying to forecast when models SUCK !
    So, I stayed put,until ........
    I have video of the Eclipse,but due to solar winds, it is 'Out Of Focus' .

    Kevin Burgess
    K.C.,Mo.


    LOL
     
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  7. Elaine Spencer

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    All I can say is... wow! We ended up at the Steeleville IL Public Library and ended up staying there for the eclipse with the library staff and several other people who just happened by looking for a place to see the eclipse... one couple came all the way from Wisconsin, another from just a couple counties north. The clouds stayed well to our north, and we got a spectacular view of totality. Next door to the library was the local high school where the students were all outside watching it and cheering when totality descended. Several of us tried to take cell phone pics but of course they don't do it justice at all. I got a very shaky video of the whole thing on my cell phone, mainly to record our "OMG this is AWESOME!" reactions.

    Then we started working our way home, trying to avoid interstates and main state highways that would be clogged with return traffic. Between Carlyle and Greenville IL we encountered some thunderstorms with cloud to ground lightning and, at one point, what appeared (at least to me) to be rotation and possible funnel clouds! For a while there I thought I was going to see my first tornado AND first total eclipse on the same day :) We had to stop just south of I-70 to let the rain and wind pass before continuing.

    Got back to SPI around 6, going secondary routes all the way. We passed over I-55 just east of SPI and could see the northbound traffic was still backed up pretty bad. Many thanks to Dan for his advice re target area and back roads.
     
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  8. Alex Elmore

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    Where I live in the St. Louis area, I was just in the path of totality. However, if I drove just 30 minutes to the south to where my in-laws live in Festus, MO, I would be approximately 7 miles from the center line and gain roughly 30 seconds of totality. That's what my wife and I decided to do, so we headed down there on I-55 last night to spend the night and not have to worry about potential traffic in the morning. We didn't experience any traffic out of the norm on our way south. Woke up this morning and was happy and pleasantly surprised to see the dying MCS well to the north and drifting east with clear skies dominating the St. Louis area.

    The eclipse itself was spectacular. Very few upper-level clouds to worry about and only a few small cumulus that occasionally blocked the sun from view for about the first 45 minutes of the event. After that, all the clouds stayed clear and we had perfect viewing. The only other cloud-interference was a cumulus that blocked probably the last 5 minutes of the partial eclipse. Traffic was heavy on I-55 north around the Festus area for only about 2-3 hours after the eclipse ended, due to a couple main highways meeting in the area. After letting the traffic die off, we headed home shortly after 6pm and experience normal traffic flow. Below is my favorite image from today. I'm not sure how well it will show up, but I believe that pinpoint of light toward the bottom-left corner is Mercury. IMG_4045.jpg
     
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  9. John Farley

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    Well since the reports thus far focus on the MO/IL area I will give a little Nebraska perspective. There was a lot of concern about Nebraska because of potential cloud cover and there were some scattered to broken stratocumulus in some places north and west of where we were at totality time, but it worked out fine for us and from what I am hearing many others in NE. Our target was Arthur, but too much of a stratus deck still there at 9:30 a.m. MDT, so we repositioned east and then southeast, ending up at a watch party about 10 miles SE of Tryon. This was well past the SE edge of the stratus deck, only a few thin cirroform clouds to deal with. It was a big open field where people could really spread out and get comfortable, and the porta-potties helped with that, too. Around 2 minutes 15 seconds of totality.
    totality.jpg

    I am sure there are many better pictures of the eclipse on the net, but this kind of gives you the idea. It was spectacular! Very noticeable cooling which as others have mentioned continued and may have peaked a while after totality. There were a lot of cows in a field across the street and they did NOT head home, but swarms of gnats did appear like they usually do at twilight. No traffic problems at all except getting back through Arthur after the eclipse. Maybe a 10 or 15 minute delay there, although at a restaurant this evening we did hear of a big jam SE of Alliance where it took folks 3 hours to go 23 miles. Incidentally, it did clear out in time for totality in Arthur, but it worked out fine where we went, so it's all good!
     
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  10. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Was very worried about high level cloud cover over my initial target of Fairmont, NE this morning, so I got going earlier than initially expected, adjusting my target to the northwest as far as I figured I could make it given the time I had (hmm, sounds exactly like most storm chase days!). Ended up settling for a spot buried in the dirt road grid west of Grand Island (closest town was Cairo, NE). Made it there probably 15-30 minutes before C1. I could've probably gotten even further northwest had I needed to. The cloud situation looked concerning even as I was heading west on I-80 towards GRI, but the cirrus appeared to either move on or completely erode away and I ended up with an almost completely uninterrupted show. Maybe 1 faint wisp of cirrus went over the sun between C1 and C2, but that was it! Looking back, it may have cleared for a Fairmont target, but I don't regret where I ended up. It was just as desolate and quiet as I figure a target near Fairmont would have been.

    Just as I predicted, there were people camped out along the rural roads away from the big towns/cities, but they were very widely scattered. I could only see one other group of people from my camp, and they were a good kilometer away. No sound from any of them. I only had one other car pass my campsite the entire time also, and that was a good hour before C2.

    Traffic was generally not an issue. The heaviest traffic anomaly (difference between actual and typical traffic) was probably between Salina and Concordia on US 81. Definitely a noticeable surge of people headed north (probably 3-6 times as many cars going north as going south). For some reason there was a major traffic jam on 81 in Concordia. Traffic was at a standstill for more than a mile coming into town. Thankfully I saw it early enough and there was an available side road that I was able to take to skip through town away from 81. Still slowed me down by 5-10 minutes, though. There was also a noticeable increase of people at a truck stop near Belleville. I had to wait in a short line to gas up. I did not see any gas price surges.

    Honestly, once I got into Nebraska the traffic eased up noticeably (probably because I was already in the path of totality within a few miles of crossing the border). Definitely noticed large gatherings at local fairgrounds and truck stops with open fields surrounding them. I-80 westbound was a bit busier than I would expect for a Monday morning, but everyone was able to go full speed. I didn't bother trying Grand Island. Once I got past GRI on 80 traffic was back down to what you'd normally expect. I saw hardly one or two other vehicles getting to my final spot. Traffic coming back was pretty good, too. Only a very slight uptick in vehicle numbers, and the slowest traffic was caused by a state trooper going exactly the speed limit for about 10 miles.
     
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  11. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    WHAT A DAY! Funny thing, I actually wasn't too far from you @JeffDuda. Made it to Cairo and then went west of town a few miles on Hwy 2 and then south a couple of miles off the highway. Had a group of my closest friends, some that came from SoDak that relied on me to find the perfect spot, and I did. As Jeff mentioned almost cloudless skies. I took tons of video and pics. Traffic was surprisingly fine all the way west on I-80 and I drove 75-80 almost the whole way. The way home was a whole other story. Started out fine, but as we got closer to Omaha, traffic was much thicker. Ran into a few accidents where my wife and I went out of the way on gravel roads to try and get around traffic as we had to get back to Omaha to pick up the little one. I am posting one of my pics for now! diamond ring.jpg
     
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  12. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    First of all, Jeremy, that shot of the diamond ring phase is incredible! I cheated and kept my glasses off as C3 passed and witnessed the second happening of it before glancing away. It remains the single most memorable part of the eclipse itself for me.

    Second of all, we were probably VERY close. Hell, for all I know we may have crossed paths. I was maybe 200-300 m north of the intersection of Airport Rd and Road 44 almost exactly 4.0 miles due southwest of the highway 2/11 intersection in the center of Cairo. But I took Airport road west from NE-11 on the way in and then Road 44 north to NE-2 on the way out. Were you one of the groups I saw? I was in a dented up blue Mazda:

    Mazda_sitrep_2.jpg
     
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  13. Harrison Cater

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    Our original plan was to head to Chillicothe and scout out an area south of there. However isolated morning storms increased in intensity and coverage and forced us to gamble on a small clear area near Kansas City and ended up stopping on a hill near Kingston. The gamble on this clear area had actually payed off and it was just big enough to land us a nice view of totality, in an area otherwise pretty socked in with clouds. Since I lacked the proper equipment to take good pictures, I didn't take very many, and decided to just enjoy it. The hilltop was quite prominent, so there were several other people stopped up there as well. I intended to go back the way I came but Waze told me that taking I35 on the way back up was an amazing idea, and given the lack of any significant traffic on the way down, I believed it, and that ended just as well as one would expect. So went back to the pretty horrendous Missouri country roads and avoided most of the traffic on the way back to I80. Taking 80 was fine until I ran into an expansive MCS, which I coulda passed in 20 min but it took well over an hour to get out of the rain because people decided that going slower than the storm motion was an absolutely fantastic idea, but that probably would've happened anyways.

    One of the few shots I took of totality.(I tried to get most of the people out of the pano, but wasn't about to ask that lady in front of us to move just so I could get a picture)
    dae8f7ae8cb52bc4d4074387db97552d.jpg

    A kind of interesting looking shelf cloud feature associated with the outflow from the MCS

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  14. JamesCaruso

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    Eclipse chase report:

    After some tough travel logistics as detailed here, my original plan was on target to make the drive north from Boulder CO into WY, exact position to be determined by cloud cover (but hoping to skew east for later drive to Mount Rushmore). We hit the road at about 4:45am, about 15-30 min later than I had hoped but not bad for getting a family of five out the door... Wanted to stay off I-25 for a portion of the drive just out of preference, which probably cost me another 20-30 min. I thought I would have plenty of time but then when we got to I-25 the traffic was pretty heavy. Followed alternate routes per Google Maps for awhile until finally hopping on I-25 still somewhere south of Cheyenne, alternating between moving and nearly bumper to bumper (especially when passing a vehicle stopped on the shoulder and a Denver media vehicle parked alongside the road). It was probably about 7am when we were passing through Cheyenne, had to decide whether to go due north toward Glendo or northeast toward Torrington. Although the general forecast was for less cloud coverage as you moved west, with the Cheyenne AFD mentioning better conditions west of a line that included Torrington, everything was looking pretty good, we had NW winds behind a surface front, and the edge of totality was somewhat closer in that direction, so I decided on the Torrington route to get off I-25 and stay more east.

    Route 85 traffic was horrible and I was starting to wonder whether I would make it, although I had over three hours to go 100 miles. Finally got into the path of totality near Veteran WY, continued on to Torrington, used the rest rooms at Arby's, and went enough outside of town to pull off on a quiet side road across from one farm house literally the minute the partial eclipse was about to start. By the time we got our glasses on, the first tiny chunk of the sun could be seen to have been covered.

    As the sun became nearly completely covered, I didn't quite see the "diamond ring" effect I had read about, there was of course a small area of remaining light like the "diamond" but I did not see a ring going completely around. When that last ember of orange disappeared and everything in our eclipse glasses had faded to black, we removed them and there before us was the most stunning sight of a black disc, like a black hole, with streamers of white light pouring out all around, and a couple of orange flares visible from the bottom right quadrant. I tell you, it was such a shocking, awe-inspiring sight, like a window into the universe had opened, like we were seeing God Himself revealed, and I don't mind admitting that it was so overwhelming, almost like a spiritual experience, that my eyes welled up with tears - which unfortunately blurred my vision for a bit ;-)

    It did not turn completely dark as I expected, it was like the time right before dark where you can still see an orange glow low in the sky. I didn't want to focus too much on that and miss the eclipse itself, but wished I had taken one more moment to notice whether there was a 360 degree sunset glow as I had read about, but it was all just so overwhelming, just too much to take in at once. Our area was supposed to have 2 minutes of totality, it seemed shorter but of course it would, with something so amazing. I wish we had time to have gotten further north and closer to the centerline but the difference was only 30 seconds so I guess I can't get too worked up about that.

    When the first orange flash of sun reappeared, that seemed like a more stunning "diamond" than when the sun was disappearing, probably because the orange reappearing from the darkness was such a shocking contrast; but I don't remember whether I saw a full "diamond ring". We put our glasses back on but did not stay for the entire anti-climactic return of the sun.

    Overall an incredible experience and worth all the trouble, time and money to get there in my opinion. I can see why people become eclipse chasers. And the experience felt so similar to Plains storm chasing in a lot of ways, especially being out in that part of the country, not to mention the stress of whether I was going to make it on time, and the euphoric feeling of "success" after.

    I didn't take any pics, just wanted to enjoy it, and had read that cameras don't do a good job of capturing the streamers of light pouring out from around the moon during totality.

    We then drove to Mount Rushmore, just for the evening (flying home this morning from Rapid City), which ordinarily would seem like a crazy amount of driving just for a brief visit, but it was actually about equidistant compared to a return to Denver, maybe even a little closer, and I'm sure we had far less traffic than we would have had if we returned south (although still incredible volume for this part of the country).



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  15. NancyM

    NancyM EF0

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    I'm in the St. Louis area and was in the path of totality. The library where I work was having a viewing party (no food) so I drove over to watch with my friends/coworkers. Some of whom didn't believe me a couple of days ago when I said yes, we are in the path of totality. And then wandered off when I tried to explain the map. Harumph.

    What to say about the whole experience. Awe-inspiring doesn't completely cover it. Beyond awesome. I just can't come up with a description of how it felt.

    I managed to miss the diamond ring both times. I was distracted by what was going on around me and wasn't sure glasses on or off for it. We had 1 minute and 48 sec. of totality, I think.


    Looking at the sun at totality with corona and no glasses was amazing. The rapid switch to twilight & lowered temperature was other worldly. I hadn't expected the sunset glow. I only saw it in part of the western sky, but the horizon was obscured in other directions.

    It didn't go completely dark as others have noted. It was the light level of twilight, but the the color was different, sort of a purplish gray like nothing I've ever seen before. Anyone know why? I saw a couple of stars but there was so much going on that I didn't pay much attention.

    I noticed cicadas tuning up. They do that in daylight anyway, but it occurred just during the totality. My daughter was at home & said dogs were howling. The temperature dropped, but not as dramatically as I had expected.

    What an experience!!
     
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  16. ksstormchaser06

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    I targeted Beatrice Nebraska. I knew it would be a gamble due to cloud cover, but this was the only option for me. I arrived in Beatrice around 9am. The sky was mostly clear, however there were thick clouds to the south and east from the rain in that area. As it got closer to ten, showers started to develop back to the west and i started to get concerned. I then headed northwest to a dirt road about 4 miles east of Geneva, Nebraska. I was able to watch the entire show and it was an amazing experience. Here are a few photos.
    image1.JPG image2.JPG image3.JPG image4.JPG
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    #16 ksstormchaser06, Aug 22, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  17. KenMcWatters

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    I saw the eclipse from Jefferson City, MO. I posted earlier in the thread that I would travel to Nebraska if I had to, but thankfully that wasn't necessary! We had a few areas of scattered cirrus clouds as the eclipse started, but it didn't obstruct the view.

    As another poster noted, this felt a lot like a storm chase, or actually an anti-storm chase, chasing clear skies instead of storm clouds. I was obsessing over the weather conditions up until the partial eclipse started and skies remained mostly sunny, then I knew I could relax and enjoy the show.

    In the last half hour before totality the light got dimmer.. if you don't look up it's similar to clouds moving in before a storm. But the last 5 minutes were very different.. it got noticably darker minute by minute. The darkening sky to the NW looked very ominous. My videocamera was pointed in that direction, but it looked even darker in person. I watched through my eclipse glasses as the sliver of crescent sun disappeared, and heard people nearby to my location start cheering. When I took off my glasses I noted the 360 degree sunset. Then looking up, the eclipsed sun with its corona was a very beautiful sight. Pictures don't do it justice. The corona is not very bright, appearing like a cool fire around the moon. I brought binonculars and although it was hard at first finding it in the viewfinder, once I did it was very nice to see a closer view of the eclipse and fine details of the corona, filling the binoculars. Then at the end, I saw the diamond ring with my glasses off as the sun reappeared. The light quickly returned back to normal. It seemed to end much too soon.

    As I mentioned, I used my videocamera to capture the darkening sky and the eclipse, which you can watch at this link. Also here is a screen capture of the eclipsed sun from that video. My videocamera wasn't the best, not sensitive enough to capture all the nuances you see in person... but again pictures don't do it justice.

    Traffic was no problem at all getting there, as people arrived at staggered times. The traffic problems were much more noticable afterwards. I headed south out of Jefferson City only about 20 minutes after totality ended, and still ended up with heavy traffic (half the cars had Texas plates) and occasional backups near a couple of traffic lights in the Lake of the Ozarks area. I continued to monitor my traffic map on Google maps and the backups grew longer after I got through, so I was lucky. My overall delay was only about an hour.

    I feel fortunate to have seen something so rare. Although I'm not going to become an eclipse chaser, I will have the opportunity to see 2 more total eclipses within short driving distance in my lifetime in 2024 and 2045.
     

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  18. JamesCaruso

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    Nancy, I feel the same way, I feel like I missed certain things... I felt like I saw the second diamond ring but my memory of it is obviously muddled because my mental image recalled it being on the wrong side of the moon... I also regret looking at the sunset on only one side rather than 360 degrees, but there was just so much to try to take in during a short time, and I didn't want to lose time looking at the eclipse itself...

    In my earlier report post I said it was like storm chasing in some ways, and this is another way: later second-guessing myself after reading others' posts ;-)



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  19. Jeff House

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    Very happy to learn that KCMO did indeed receive a mesoscale miracle. I would have had a heart attack with all those clouds, but apparently you all are here to tell about it. In contrast the Tennessee Valley was a slam dunk. James C I'm so glad you got to share Totality with your family. I did so as well in East Tenn. Safe to say this makes up for storm season 100 times!

    Sitting in Chattanooga 7-10 days ago I was considering alternate locations due to the forecast. By Day 5 hope began to mount that it could work in East Tenn. Then 2-3 days out I was thrilled to see our forecast way better than climatology, Wyoming climo! Memphis storm chasing partner elected to come this way a day out. We laughed at the irony because it's usually me heading west.

    Cloud forecasts, PW forecasts, 700/vv/RH forecasts, and climo (lower elevation) all pointed to the intersection of the centerline and the Tennessee River. Convenient! Lucky so close to home I could enjoy this with my family as well. We all rolled out uneventfully in the morning. Stopped in Decatur, Tenn to look at data. Found a kind church and some nice eclipse chasing families, and just stayed there.

    Scattered Cu evaporate about 30 minutes before Totality. Heat and humidity give way to pleasant weather. Cicadas start up a couple minutes before totality. Shadow bands dance on a white blanket somebody brought. Northwest sky turns Royal blue before a navy blue paintbrush colors it even darker. Few seconds later the Cu on the horizon (Plateau) flips from white to grey. Almost immediately the shadow envelops us. Totality!

    I miss the diamond ring going in because the northwest horizon mesmerizes me. No regrets! My adrenaline peaks with shadow bands and the sky shadow. It's really happening! Look up at totality to witness God's second greatest gift to man. Bright ring around the moon fades to a dimmer yet radiant milk. Whiskers or cotton candy strands stretch out left and right. Adrenaline gives way to pure awe. Venus is hanging out with us too.

    Is this real? Am I one of those lucky people who travel to exotic destinations for total solar eclipses? Well, yes, I'm right up the road with family and friends. 360 degree sunrise/set is incredible. High clouds outside the path are still white on the navy blue sky. Almost look like noctilucent clouds, but they are conventional cirrus. Quickly I remember solar flares are seen more easily through binoculars. Boom! Prominence is ejecting hot pink orange at 5 o'clock on the Sun. Not much totality left. Drop binoculars and observe the main show again. Navy blue button over the sun gives way to the corona cotton candy and whiskers. Oh my it is the sight of a lifetime!

    Church_Steeple.jpg Aug_21_2017_Horizon.jpg
     
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    #19 Jeff House, Aug 22, 2017
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  20. Jacob Hernandez

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    To everyone who bailed on Central Nebraska, I guess I need to thank you lowering the traffic congestion, lol. Coming north from Moore, OK, I kept watching the models as they showed my original target, Grand Island, NE being under cloud cover. I considered changing my destination to somewhere in north central Missouri, as it would be about the same driving distance. If it was just me, I wouldn't stress out about this so much, but I was bringing my mom, girlfriend, and a dog with, so I felt so much more pressure.

    We stopped in a McDonald's parking lot in Wichita, KS and I debated for like 30 minutes as to where to go. One model run showed that Missouri was the better choice, and the next would say Nebraska. Finally, I forced myself to choose and I decided to go to my first choice, Grand Island, NE.

    The whole way there I was second guessing myself. When I wasn't driving, I was thinking about how terrible I would feel if I blew this, and I couldn't sleep. Even when we got to Grand Island, I never feel asleep as I kept looking at model data to see if we should move further west, and I never got a clear answer.

    The morning comes and one of my coworkers was also going to Grand Island, but wasn't as willing to move. I could see clouds to our south and southeast, but our southwest was clear, save for a few cirrus. Time kept passing and I finally said that I'm willing to take our chances at the Grand Island Walmart Supercenter parking lot on the south side of town.

    As the eclipse started, the clouds stayed away and I was paranoid that something would block our view of totality. But as we got closer to 12:58 pm, there was nothing moving into the path of the sun and moon. the lights dimmed around us, and it was a very eerie feeling. Like, if you stepped outside and had no idea what was going on in the sky, you could tell that something was off. The temperature began to drop and we could see the sliver of the sun start to fade through our eclipse glasses. Finally the sun was completely blocked and we got the experience of a lifetime.

    My girlfriend had her tripod set up and was able to take some great pictures, but this one of the eclipse with Mercury to the left is my favorite.

    I just sat in the grass and took it all in. The stress of planning, travel, and spending money was all worth it for this moment.

    If you missed this one, start planning now for the 2024 eclipse. It will be worth it, especially if it's your first one.

    We got home at 9 pm last night. and I slept like a rock.
     

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  21. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    Hey Jeff- Thank you! I feel I really got lucky. I was just snapping some pics while trying to also look around me and take it all in. It's weird, totality happened so fast, that it seems like I can hardly remember a lot of details. I sometimes feel like I spent a little too much time focused on equipment, but when there's only 2 1/2 minutes, there's not a lot of time to work with. In the excitement of totality starting, I didn't initially take off my filter, so I remember looking down and seeing black on my screen after I would take a picture and for a few moments trying to figure out what was happening.
    After I took the filters off, I didn't adjust my shutter speeds enough to be able to capture the beads or prominences. I do have some pictures of the corona that I haven't worked on yet. Can't complain too much though, since I got the diamond ring at the perfect time. I don't remember seeing the diamond ring at the beginning of totality, but when totality ended it was impressive.
    My group of friends and family ended up maybe 2 miles west off of Hwy 2 where we turned south on Chapman rd and then about 2 miles south on Indian Creek? Rd we went west about 1/2 mile. I don't remember seeing your car, but we didn't really see anyone else outside of town. Glad you had a safe trip for the long drive and things worked out for you! I've heard many a story of people down in southeast Nebraska coming back towards Omaha and 100 mile trip took 3-4 hours.
     
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  22. Darren Lo

    Darren Lo EF0

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    I targeted the Tennessee Valley area and spent Sunday driving around the vicinity of the path of totality looking for good spots. In the end, I found a small park directly under the center line to camp out in and await the show. A line of low cumulus clouds formed over the higher terrain to my west during the day on Monday, but the sky overhead remained clear for totality. The temperature drop as totality approached was both very noticeable and very welcome.

    I had planned not to distract myself by taking any pictures, but I did have my typical storm chasing photography gear with me and decided at the last minute to at least put my longest telephoto lens on (a 70-200 zoom), point the camera at the sun, hook up the cable release, and Google up some exposure values for the total eclipse. I ended up with a vastly overexposed corona, blown beyond recovery -- but it was still a nice little memento of what I saw, however underwhelming it may be compared to the actual experience. The one positive consequence of overexposing was that it's possible to see the face of the Moon.

    There weren't many good road options to get back to northern Virginia, so I was mostly confined to the interstates on my return journey, which was agonizingly slow.

    20170821-DET_7911.jpg
     
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  23. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    Here's part of the video I took from the eclipse. Includes the last couple of minutes before totality, totality, and then a few minutes after. Loved hearing all of our reactions:) I had my video camera zoomed in really tight on the eclipse the entire time. If I had 3 more eyeballs and 4 more hands, I would have loved to have taken video of the entire sky and horizon, etc. lol!

     
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  24. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    Not sure if anyone else has heard about this phenomenon, but we were able to see it and experience it ourselves. You can hear us talking about it right before totality. For reasons unknown to scientists, on usually white objects, you can see these "waves" of light going back and forth right before totality. We happened to have a white sheet on the ground that we were using for other "experiments", but could clearly see it. Very creepy and cool!


    Sent from my iPhone using Stormtrack
     
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  25. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Those are called shadow bands or shadow snakes. I definitely saw them both before and after totality. They were covered in a video I linked to in the predictions thread. Pretty cool.

    While I'm at it, the same guy also captured a transit of the ISS between C1 and C2. It seemed to catch a lot of attention on Twitter on Monday. He made a video of that event on his channel:
     
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