REPORTS: Total solar eclipse, August 21, 2017

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

  1. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    That must have been where I heard about them. A friend tried to take a video of the bands with her cell phone, but you couldn't really see them.
    Very cool video, thanks for sharing!
     
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  2. Rick Schmidt

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    Bailey's Beads Reserve, Ks..jpg Here is a shot through the clouds of Bailey's Beads from Reserve Ks., taken with 500mm f/8 mirror lens. If I had not brought my 85 yr. old mother to see this, I would have been in western Neb. Now on to the next one in 7 years!
     
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  3. Phil Bates

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    Clear skies in Salem, Oregon. Fortunately, winds kept the smoke away. Like other reports, the traffic was only a little heavier than normal. No problems with food or gas. Eclipse crop.png Filter off.png Just Starting back.png Prominences.png 3 Beads.png Double Beads coming in.png
     
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  4. Mitch Magee

    Mitch Magee Lurker

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    After poring over forecasts for ten days and satellite images throughout the day before the eclipse, I decided to ditch Kansas City and go with Plan B. A possible 'cirrostratus shield' over KC that the NWS forceaster mentioned Sunday evening was the last straw. The likely Iowa MCS and signaled morning KC convection pushed me past St. Louis. A chance of convection in SE MO landed me in Kentucky. After watching cumulus fields avoid river valleys and reservoirs on satellite images, I settled on the town of Eddyville, which is on the center line and the leeward side of Lake Barkley. This 'cloud shadow' strategy may have worked out, because we had puffy clouds on all sides of us, but never overhead. (Someday, I would like to get some high-res visible sat images of the area to confirm.) The only clouds present near the sun were some scattered cirrus coming in from the west. These were never an issue.

    I don't have any eclipse photos to offer. I figure the 2m 40s would have evaporated while fumbling with some silly camera just to get photos that are no better than the millions that will soon appear on Instagram. That turned out to be a good choice since I was reaching sensory overload as totality commenced. I could barely handle a pair of binoculars at that point.

    Needless to say, the eclipse was awesome beyond words, yet there is one phenomenon worth noting that I haven't heard anyone mention before. At the beginning of totality, just as I saw the sunlight on the ground switch to a cold, shadowless pall, I swung around and looked up to behold the moon and corona basking in a warm, golden glow. This appearance of the eclipse was stunning and utterly unexpected. The glow faded to the quality of the light of a midnight full moon by mid-eclipse. The glow returned as the sun was about come back out, though I didn't make as much of a mental note this time. After thinking about it for a bit, I figured the warm glow was due to the chromosphere (which I didn't see directly) adding its color and brilliance to light up the surrounding sky.
     
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  5. Jeremy Perez

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    Experiencing the eclipse was beyond words...but I tried anyway. Blog post and images over here:

    2017 Solar Eclipse

    Our road trip wound up in Broken Bow, Nebraska the night before, but threat of clouds was too much to bear and we bailed westward at 4AM through a horrendous fogscape. We caught the eclipse under perfect skies in the sand hills north of Mitchell. Intervalometers and a scripting program "Solar Eclipse Maestro" let me pre-arrange the shots so I didn't have to fuss with the camera during totality. No way I would've wanted to mess with images otherwise. Like Mitch said about sensory overload...definitely that.

    Corona and Earthshine
    img20170821-IMG_5363-Edit-Edit_640px.jpg

    Observing totality in the sand hills north of Mitchell
    img20170821-IMG_5828_640px.jpg

    Bailey's Beads at the end of totality
    img20170821-IMG_5385_640px.jpg

    Diamond Ring effect just before totality
    img20170821-IMG_5333_640px.jpg
     
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  6. John Farley

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    Here is a better totality picture than the one I originally posted. Helps to get home and do a little more extensive post-processing.

    totality-zoom.jpg

    I know there are lots of better ones out there but I did not want to spend too much time fussing with the camera and was quite happy with this. Was also pleased that I captured Mercury - I did not notice it in real time although Venus was very visible farther away on the other side of the sun.

    I have written up a more detailed account of our experiences of the eclipse, which you can read at:

    http://www.johnefarley.com/eclipse82117.htm
     
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    #31 John Farley, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  7. Elaine Spencer

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    Check out this looping satellite view of cloud cover over MO and IL in the hours before, during and after the eclipse...

    http://www.weather.gov/lsx/08_21_2017

    The loop begins at 1547 UTC (10:47 a.m. CST, about 1 hour before first contact and 2 1/2 hours before totality in most of the area pictured) and ends at 2102 UTC (4:02 p.m. CST). It appears to me as if that boundary coming down from IA/N IL held off just barely long enough for totality... and then literally exploded within the next 90 minutes or so.
     
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  8. Bill Hark

    Bill Hark EF5

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    Monday was a successful eclipse chase day. I started in Seneca, South Carolina and spent the early morning looking at data. Either the region near Seneca or over in east Tennessee looked good for sunny skies. I initially liked the Athens area of east Tennessee but that would involve another 3 hour drive over the mountains. As more data came in, both areas appeared similar, and I chose South Carolina. The skies were clear, but cumulus clouds were expected to form around eclipse time. I decided to shift a bit east and south to get away from the mountains. I drove through Clemson and then wandered the back roads looking for a place away from crowds. I finally found nice isolated dirt road by a large field with some horses. The heat and humidity was miserable but the sky was initially clear. I began the process of setting up equipment while nervously watching the growing clusters of clouds around me. A few times, a cloud would briefly cover the sun. This was worrisome as totality would only be about 2 ½ minutes. A cloud could ruin the view. I was ready to shift positions if necessary. Since eclipses glasses were too dark to show clouds and the sun too bright to look at directly, I would take periodic cell phone pics with my eyes closed to assess the presence of clouds by the sun. There were several close to the sun. Should I stay or go? Slowly, the moon started to block the sun giving the sun a crescent appearance. Shadows became sharper but there was not much change in apparent light. I could easily watch the process on an eclipse projection box that I made using an old pair of binoculars. A large sun image was projected onto a white screen. I was also monitoring temperatures in the box. I had an initial reading of 96 degrees in the shade. Slowly, the sunlight developed a weird gloomy appearance with a gradual diminishment in brightness. Where trees cast a shadow, I could see little crescents of the sun. The temperature started to decrease. The horses stayed in position but didn’t do anything unusual. There were a few more crickets chirping in the grass. The light level reached the point of twilight and suddenly everything became dark. There was a massive wave of darkness the engulfed the area. This was a drastic change from the slow decrease in light. For 360 degrees, the sky was a dull orange as one would see at late sunset. A few stars or planets were visible. This was totality. The sun was an amazing sight. A pure black disk surrounded by a silky corona. This was against a dark blue-black sky. Absolutely amazing! This only lasted about two and a half minutes. The sky in the distance gradually brightened and suddenly, there was light. It was still fairly dark and I glanced down at the pavement and saw the elusive “shadow snakes.” They were wavy parallel lines shimmering in my view of the road. This phenomena doesn’t occur with every eclipse and depends on the atmosphere. I wasn’t expecting them as one usually needs a solid background. I attempted a picture but it was too dark. I should have tried video but was distracted. A couple of minutes later, a cloud passed across the sun and ended the nice view. Overall, the cooling effects of the shadow decreased the clouds. My last temperature measurement was 86.8. I left the area and began the long arduous journey northward in terrible traffic. At times, I was taking small “bob’s roads” with no line as I attempted to avoid the towns. I passed huge fields completely covered by Kudzu vine except for the road. I didn’t get home until about 3 AM.
     

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  9. Scott Weberpal

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    I'm a little late to the show, but thought I'd share my experience. About a year before the eclipse I booked rooms in Grand Island, NE and Marion, IL and would pick the place with the potential for the best weather and cancel the other. About 30 hours before the eclipse I was still a little iffy about the potential for clouds in S. IL (Grand Island was already out of the question) so I booked a last minute room in Clarksville, TN. I'll let the images, video, and my blog tell the rest of the story...

    Blog link: http://scottweberpal.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/what-a-journey---totality-2017

    A time lapse covering from about 2 minutes before through 2 minutes after totality:


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    a7c100a7c473cf960992d6e85728aee6.jpg
     
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  10. MClarkson

    MClarkson EF5

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    That solar flare shot is AMAZING Scott! Strong work! From your blog it looks like thats a pretty hefty lens... what settings did you use?
     
  11. Joe Pudlik

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    The eclipse was definitely one of the more interesting and awesome experiences I've had.

    Ended up having brief totality where I was southeast of St. Louis. A cool experience...Watching the eclipse occur, it gradually getting dark, and the shadow waves before/after totality. Also seeing a few of the brighter stars/planets around totality, and the 360 degree sunset-like sky.

    Definitely will be in position for the 2024 eclipse and a greater period of totality.
     
    #36 Joe Pudlik, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  12. ScottCurry

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    Been super busy, so late posting here. I decided to make a full family vacation out of this. I booked hotel rooms back in January and hoped for the best.

    We left from Colorado Saturday morning and spent the whole day driving to North Platte, NE where we spent the night Saturday night. On Sunday, we drove to Omaha and I took the family to the Henry Doorly Zoo. That was an awesome experience and well worth visiting if you are ever in the area. After visiting the zoo, we headed to Lincoln, NE to spend the night.

    I had been following the weather all week and it wasn't looking good for our original plans. Plan A was to head down to Beatrice, NE. Plan B in case of cloud coverage was to go northwest near Kearney, NE. I woke up around 7am Sunday morning and while eating breakfast, I reviewed the satellite images. I quickly decided that Plan A was out, so I searched for a place with no clouds that we could make it to before the eclipse started. I settled on Ravenna, NE.

    We packed up the car and headed west towards Ravenna. Waze kept redirecting me as the traffic was getting worse and worse the closer it got to the eclipse start time. We finally arrived in Ravenna and found a field where other people were watching the eclipse too. Luckily that part of Nebraska is less populated and flat, so there were a lot of different places where people were gathered to watch the eclipse, so it wasn't too crowded.

    As we talked with some other people who were there, we found quite a few others who were originally planning to go to Beatrice, who decided to go west to Ravenna also. A lot of people had "experiments", solar eclipse binoculars, telescopes, pinhole viewers, and other contraptions. Everybody was really nice, and my wife and twin 3 years olds enjoyed experimenting and using the binoculars and pinhole viewers. I was told that on your first eclipse, you should just enjoy it, and not try to photograph it. So that's what I did. I did take some photos with my cell phone, but I didn't bring a good camera and try to get good photos or video. I just wanted to enjoy it.

    After the eclipse, it was a slow drive to Kansas City, KS in moderate traffic. Until we hit Beatrice, NE. Then traffic stopped, and we crawled along. The eclipse had ended 2 hours prior, and yet traffic was still terrible in Beatrice. We finally made it to Kansas City around 8pm, where the city was being pounded with heavy rain. Many parts of Kansas City experienced flooding. We were driving 35mph down the interstate, because any faster and we would start hydroplaning. Water was flying about 15' in the air on the sides of our SUV as we drove down the interstate. Luckily our hotel was high on a hill and did not experience the flooding that many of the buildings around us experienced. We had planned on eating dinner at Joe's Barbecue (supposed to be the best barbecue in Kansas City, and the 2nd best in the country), but we arrived too late.

    On Tuesday, we drove to Manhattan, KS and visited my wife's brother for a few hours before heading a little further west and taking my boys on their first camping trip. Finally, on Wednesday we drove home.

    In 5 days, we covered 1,800 miles and drove through 5 states. My wife and kids got to experience a little bit of what I go through when storm chasing. They did not enjoy the driving. Good thing I do.

    [Broken External Image]:http://severevideos.com/photos/full/08-21-17_Eclipse-1.jpg
    Sharing solar eclipse binoculars and pinhole viewers.

    [Broken External Image]:http://severevideos.com/photos/full/08-21-17_Eclipse-2.jpg
    My wife and twin 3 year old boys enjoying the totality.
     
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  13. cdcollura

    cdcollura EF5

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    Good day all,

    Finally all caught up with a bunch of work and such, so here is my detailed account of this absolutely spectacular event!

    Summary: The eclipse chase trip was kind of different in some respects. Instead of looking for bad weather, I needed to target the clearest weather as possible. Based on this, the best area was east and central Tennessee, with open clear skies forecasted in that area. I left south Florida on August 20, 2017 with a friend of mine to take turns driving. We pretty much headed up I-95 to Fort Pierce, then took the FL Turnpike through Orlando to Ocala, then I-75 northward to the Atlanta area by evening. We spent the night in Marietta, Georgia. The next day, on the 21st, we headed out early on I-75 northward out of Georgia and into Tennessee near Chattanooga. From there, I headed north on I-75 to near Athens, then NW on Highway 68 to 58. The final area was a park and recreation area at the Foshee campgrounds and lake southeast of Spring City, TN. This area was in the totality axis.

    The total eclipse was observed at around 2:35 PM EDT (local time) at this location. After documenting the event, I headed out of the recreation area to highway 58, taking that route through Decatur and back-roads to avoid the traffic on 58 and I-75. Heading east on 306 to near Cleveland, TN to Highway 11 south to 60, then 71 to Dalton, GA. From there, I took I-75 out of the area through Atlanta and made the long drive to Valdosta for the night (traffic was heavy in areas, due to the exiting of observers, and construction later on). On August 22, we headed south on I-75 back to Ocala, then took the FL Turnpike through Orlando to Fort Pierce, then I-95 back into south Florida. Total mileage was 1,654 miles.

    m18ecmap.jpg

    This is a "chase" map and annotated diagram for the Great American Total Eclipse of 2017, which passed diagonally across the USA on August 21, 2017. To observe this event, and after forecasting for good weather, I decided on a target of east-central Tennessee. The main area of observation was the Foshee Recreation area southeast of Spring City, and was directly in the totality axis for this event. The trip started by driving out of south Florida on August 20, 2017 (that nigh was spent in Marietta, GA) with the total eclipse observed on the 21st in Tennessee, during the early afternoon. The drive back to south Florida was on the 22nd with a stop near Valdosta. The eclipse "chase" track is in blue. Total mileage logged was 1,654 miles on the 2016 Jeep Wrangler.

    Video of the Aug 21, 2017 eclipse...



    Pictures below...

    m18ecl1.jpg

    Above:
    View of people gathering in the Foshee Recreation area to the southeast of Spring City, Tennessee. This area was chosen doe to a clear weather forecast and it being directly under the totality axis.

    m18ecl3.jpg

    Above: First contact as the moon begins to cross over the sun. The partial portion of the eclipse has begun. This was at about 1:40 EDT.

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    Above: Myself with the camcorder taking video of the partial phase of the eclipse through solar filters.

    m18ecl10.jpg

    Above: otality reached at about 2:32 PM EDT, and lasting about 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Beautiful corona and dark sky and stars visible.

    m18ecl12.jpg

    Above: Close-up of total eclipse showing corona and prominences around the edge of the solar disk. This was roughly 2:33 EDT.

    m18ecl15.jpg

    Above: Totality ends at just before 2:35 EDT and the sun re-emerges from behind the moon. In this picture, the "diamond ring" effect can be seen, following the "bailey's beads". Wave shadows were also observed on the ground at this time.
     
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  14. Paul Knightley

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    Very late to the party here! Long story short - we made our 2nd trip of the year to the US from the UK - got a bit of a city break in Chicago, then a couple of small storm chases in KS/NE, and then watched the eclipse from near Ansley, NE, before heading to MI for a couple of days for a short break with family - quite the packed trip!

    Anyway, a few weeks back I got around to putting together a 3-way view of the eclipse: the main panel shows the zoomed-in view from my video camera, with the other 2 showing GoPro footage looking (top) towards the south, and, (bottom) towards the north-west.

     
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