Our Eclipse Here in Bradford
Posted on August 21, 2017 Posted by John Scalzi 42 Comments
It went well! We had intermittent clouds in the run-up, but for the first half (closing up to the maximum) we had very good views much of the time, and the clouds weren’t so heavy we couldn’t see. I made a box, but then Krissy’s work handed out eclipse glasses, so we used those instead, and I also used a makeshift filter on my camera to get some pretty good shots. This particular shot came just after maximum, when all of a sudden a lot of clouds rolled in and I could snap a naked shot of the sun without frying my camera. We got 88% of coverage, which is enough for a show. In all, a very fine eclipse, from the deck of my house.
The next eclipse for North America is in 2024, and as it happens, that one will have totality directly over my house. Which is convenient! And before you ask, we’re already booked up. Sorry.
Updated to add: Also, I think I may never get a better eclipse shot than this one. Thank you and good night.
We watched from our back yard here in DC. Looked exactly like your pic.
We all went out on the street in Manhattan with all the other workers. People had boxes and glasses and everyone shared. SO cool.
Here in Phoenix, 63% is all we got.
Question for the science peeps: our meteorologist said eclipses can sometimes kick up eclipse winds and even sudden storms, but she didn’t explain why. Anyone know?
Thanks for two great pics!
Question for the science peeps: our meteorologist said eclipses can sometimes kick up eclipse winds and even sudden storms, but she didn’t explain why. Anyone know?
Hmmm….possibly because of the temperature drop in the path of totality (and if the drop was extreme enough). Seattle, at 92%, had a distinct drop of 5 degrees or so, and it felt a tad chilly.
The eclipse started at 1:03 today. I had to teach college algebra at 1:00. I really wanted to be outside, photographing a time lapse of the eclipse. So, we had class today and the assignment was to calculate the time between shots on the time lapse and how many neutral density filters are needed to not fry my camera.
You’re going to be right in the middle of the totality path in April 2024, so, weather permitting, you’ll have a great opportunity then.
The eclipse started here at 1:03 pm. I had to teach college algebra at 1:00 pm. I really wanted to be outside shooting a time lapse of the eclipse. So, we had class outside and the assignment was to calculate the time interval between shots of the time lapse and how many neutral density filters are required to not fry my camera. The answers were 14.25 s and all the filters I had, 16 stops worth.
We’re also smack in the middle of totality for 2024 here in neighboring Indiana. However, there have been plans since my wife and I retired of moving to New Mexico—and seven years is a long time not to do that—so we may end up driving to watch in Texas.
Your second picture is awesome. I watched it at Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio), a little north of you. The astronomy club was out in force with their telescopes for people to us. There were several people who brought home made box viewers (including one made from a Cheerios box). Very good weather with a little cloud cover. Had fun talking to the other people who came to watch it. We were wondering if the eclipse would knock Trump off the news headlines and give him a break . Can’t wait for the 2024 eclipse that should bring totality to our area.
I had 85% at my house in Florida with nearly cloudless skies. I watched it with some cheap 10×25 binoculars with the proper filters. I didn’t think to get a filter for the camera but I did get a few pictures of the crescent shaped spots in the shadows cast by palm fronds which is pretty neat. I also got a 5 degree temperature drop at my backyard weather station as the sun dimmed.
Nice one. Here in NYC (southern Brooklyn to be exact) we were at 71% and, frankly, didn’t get much of anything, especially compared to you. We’re planning on crashing at our friends’ house in Buffalo in April 2024. Ssh, don’t tell them.
We had totality where I am in Idaho. It was quite awesome. I recommend chasing eclipses, if you have the money, which I don’t. I can see why ancient people were freaked out. Weird. But awesome.
Based on the map on Wikipedia for the 2024 eclipse, you should be smack dab in the middle of totality then. We all expect excellent pictures from you then!
Totality in 2024 goes just a tad west of Austin, it looks like, so that may be a good weekend to book a B&B in the Hill Country.
Here in the state capitol of California, we only had 79% totality, but that was awesome enough, hanging with the neighbors, and passing my welding goggles (with two #9 glass stacked on each other) around. Here the moon slipped down the left side of the sun, which was neat.
(Why do I have welding goggles when I don’t weld? We had an annular eclipse in my hometown. It wasn’t as big of a deal as this one, but it was really the first eclipse I ever got to see. So I walked into a welding supply store and asked them for #18 glass. Turns out #18 is excessive, but when I looked it up on the internet, that’s what was suggested. They wanted to know what the heck I was planning to do with #18 glass, because that’s very dark. I explained about the eclipse, and they came up with a solution — stacking two #9 glass on each other.)
I saw that eclipse, and I think I peeked at the transit of Venus, but they were pulled out again today. The neighbors were very thankful, because all our attempts at pinhole cameras either failed miserably or were not easy to see what was going on. One of them shot the eclipse by putting their camera in my goggles. Although I’m sad I couldn’t get to Oregon to see the total, this was fun enough.
2024 in Buffalo, though!
99% here just across the Columbia from Portland. Had lots of neighborhood kids show up where some of us were looking, so we shared eclipse glasses around. My favorite was the little girl (starting 3rd grade next week) who was being very grumpy about having to leave her bike – until she looked through the glasses at the sun. Her mouth dropped open and a very slow “oooohhhh” came out. Another neighbor and I explained what was going on – it took a few moments to get the concept, but once she got it she ran to her dad and said “Science is cool!” So score one for the geeks!
Here in South Carolina, I got to see totality just by stepping out my front door and looking up (with appropriate eye protection) It was cool to watch, especially since it was my first total eclipse. It didn’t get as dark as I expected, only about just around sunset. Still, I’m glad I got to see it. Oh, and well before 2024, I expect to be living in Texas.
Great pics, John, thanks for sharing. I was at work today, but confess not a lot got done between 2 and 3 p.m.
About 67% in my part of upstate New York. Very cool through eclipse glasses. Very slight dimming and change in the quality of light around here. In 2024, I’ll be about a three hour ride from totality and have connections. I’m there!
We made the most of our 80% coverage in Largo MD. My colleagues and I popped outside once or twice during the leadup to peak coverage, then stayed out for about 10 minutes or so during peak. Clouds kept moving over the sun but moved away again enough that we could make excellent use of our eclipse glasses. Awesome.
I watched from Paducah, KY. I had drove over to Edwardsville, IL to see Marian Call at a coffee shop, then headed SE to try and avoid the clouds. It worked, 2 minutes, 20 seconds of totality. More than with it.
Really looking forward to 2024, I get 3m, 8s of totality without leaving home. Need to get the proper filters for my camera and probably a longer lens.
We just had clouds here (or, as I like to call it, an eclipse of both the sun and the moon by water vapor). But someone at NASA managed to capture a picture of the International Space Station transiting the sun during the eclipse.
I was on the centerline in Tennessee. Two and a half minutes of totality; amazing to see. But even more memorable, maybe was the feeling of sheer strangeness for about ten minutes before totality, when there was still a sliver of Sun. How scary it must have been for prescientific people, to have the light become so inexplicably gloomy on a clear day, the air cooling rapidly, and then for the Sun to abruptly turn black.
You know, I just want to say thank you for sharing such beautiful views with us. The internet can be a pretty unpleasant place sometimes, and posts like this are really heartening. You’re just sharing the beauty of your world with all of us, and that? That’s pretty awesome.
Also, I got to see the eclipse from Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, and that was also pretty fantastic: tons of geeks out in the streets, all sharing glasses hand to hand, marvelling over a beautiful sight together. And there was a puppy, too! All in all a great day, both on the internet (thanks to you) and on the streets.
Good for you and yours, John. We got about 93% coverage here in Memphis for like two minutes. My brother and I looked at it in our backyard. It felt supernatural. The air was this weird lukewarm and it was like someone had poorly color-corrected the universe with a bad blue tint in the middle of the afternoon. It sure was cool–once or twice in a lifetime type stuff.
I was originally going to go down to Oregon but totaled the car last weekend and was completely unwilling to risk a brand new car for a four hour drive (with no traffic, which was not in the cards) and possibly get stranded when this one ends up being the lemon when I could get 92% at my house. The ’24 eclipse would require some sort of trip (I have no family in the path of the eclipse) so I might end up waiting for ’45 to see totality.
Here in the Upstate region of South Carolina, we had an AWESOME view. Mind you I had to go to work at just about eclipse time. I left early, carrying my solar binocs with me, and the eclipse glasses my company had been handing out for the last several days.
There are times I dislike my company, but they pulled a good one today for the people on 1st shift. They decided to have a fire drill like maybe a half hour before totality? 😉 Smooth move.
As for the eclipse itself, I juggled between my glasses and binoculars. The binocs give a great view but can get a bit unwieldy when you are sweating like hell in the heat. The glasses give you a lot of neck and arm relief, but aren’t as color correct as the binocs, and the details… details… but I’m glad I had both to hand.
We were just out of the path of totality, by just a couple of miles but our view was so close to total.. oh so close, with just the tiniest sliver of Sun not being covered which gave us an awesome diamond ring. And then the crickets started up! LOL. I felt sorry for them. As is, like the last near total eclipse we had here way back in the day, it kinda does mess with your mind a bit.
Anyway, this isn’t an actual pic of the eclipse here, but it’s pretty much what we had.
I traveled to see this eclipse, and I’m here to tell you that the difference between a 92% partial and being in the path of totality is the difference between kissing your sister and kissing your lover. Aaron Doukas, you should make that trip in ’24. Waiting for 2045 is waiting too long.
I took my son and a friend to TN from Indianapolis. Once you’ve had totality you’ll never go back. Traffic was awful and it was a LONG day, but so glad we went. Just as much fun was the hundreds of thousands of people I estimate flooded the exits in Southern KY and Northern TN. Like the world’s largest football game.
Oh, one more thing! In the seconds before totality, it’s like someone turned a dimmer switch. In less than 10 seconds it goes from bright enough to read a book to so dark you can hardly see it in your hands. Other than the totality itself that was incedibly memorable.
We only had (about two thirds) partial here in CT, but we each poked a pinhole in paper and held another paper in the other hand, put our backs to the sun, and enjoyed trying to focus an image through the pinhole onto the other paper. It worked pretty well whenever the clouds got out of the way.
That amount of partial isn’t even noticeable without such technical assist–it seemed just like a bit of extra cloudiness in the day. But at least it got us out of the house.
We had 98 percent here in northwest Georgia. We could have driven about two hours to totality, under normal driving conditions, but up in extreme northeast Georgia where they had totality, it was partially cloudy.
@Vonne Anton — Since an eclipse causes some cooling, and cool air sinks, it’s likely that there could be small, probably unnoticeable changes in wind speed and direction near the eclipse shadow. And if one air parcel sinks, another must rise. Rising air can cause a thunderstorm. So, in principle, an eclipse could cause a thunderstorm. However, since the air motions caused by an eclipse are likely to be quite small, I think a thunderstorm could form only if the conditions for exactly right for thunderstorm formation. That presents two problems. The first is that good conditions for thunderstorm formation mean fairly extensive cloud cover, which would tend to suppress the cooling effect of the eclipse. The second problem is that if the conditions are exactly right for thunderstorm formation, there will probably be other thunderstorms around that weren’t caused by eclipse effects, making it hard to tell whether the eclipse actually caused any particular storm.
But this seems to me to be a great subject for a dissertation if there are any atmospheric scientist graduate students reading. I think thunderstorm ID could be done from satellite data. Which reminds me — NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center is an example how government can do necessary jobs extremely well. They ingest, archive and make directly available to the public virtually all weather satellite data. They have more than 1.2 petabytes of data going back to 1960 and it’s all available free over the internet. It’s an amazing service that only a handful of people know anything about, and they do a damned good job.
Come 2024….plan on not taking pictures. The environment is too surreal to be messing with cameras.
I fought through the traffic to see this one in South St. Louis. Purely though chance, I’d seen two total annual eclipses, in 1984 and 1994, the former on the day I graduated from high school and thus was marked for life! I was tired of playing AAA Eclipse Baseball, and wanted to make the Show.
It was worth it. A simply amazing sight to see. I can understand how someone, with no foreknowledge and no understanding of how the Earth and Moon are orbiting each other and the Sun, would completely freak out when a total eclipse happened. It is the most staggering thing to see in the sky. The sun, gone, replaced by a black disk surrounded by a glow. (Words aren’t really accurate.)
’24: Ya sure? Ya got an awful lot of lawn….
(“Dude: bathrooms?” “Oh, well, okaaay.“)
I had been planning to drive to western Kentucky to see this with a friend, but we were kind of winging it in the sense that our plans were, “Let’s drive to Princeton and see if we can find a place to park and eat and watch.” We arrive at a nice restaurant I found on googlemaps outside of Princeton, KY around 11am CDT, which gave us 2.5 hours to have a nice lunch and set up for eclipse watching.
I did a pinhole display using a couple of white paper plates. We had ISO-certified glasses, so that was good. The glasses worked great to see the disk getting eaten by the moon. The sky was cloudless except for a few high wispy cirrus, very thin.
Unfortunately, I could not get either of my cameras to dial down the exposure, even through the filter. to get a decent picture.
Totality was amazing! I was simply in awe of the sun blacked out by the moon, with the corona shining with glorious beauty around it. I was so focused on the sight that it didn’t even register that the temperature dropped (from 95 degrees LOL) and the birds were chirping. Even saw Venus and a couple of stars. Actually, in retrospect, it was probably Jupiter because it was too far away from the sun to be Venus.
So, a 12 hour day, of which 7 hours were spent driving. (The traffic was a mess coming home!) for an hour of eclipsing, and 2.5 minutes of totality. TOTALLY WORTH IT!
I’ll be 74 in 2024, but the path of totality will be close to Louisville again. Let’s hope the notorious April weather of the midwest doesn’t interfere.
I thought I’d share my photos of the eclipse, including totality, from my viewing location at Lake Hartwell Dam. Hope you don’t mind.
@Scalzi — both of those photos would make really good book cover backgrounds — or stock photos. You might consider using them yourself on some future project, or licensing them with one (many?) stock photo companies for use.
Those of the above commenters mentioning plans to move to Texas might be advised to read Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife.
Some friends and I drove 2 hours south of Omaha to catch totality in Falls City, NE. Cloudy, but the skies cleared just enough and just in time to see the corona. And because we could take state highways all the way, instead of Interstate, we had zero problems with traffic.
I’m strongly tempted to take a shot at clear skies in 2024. I’d either have to fly someplace or take enough vacation time to drive, though.
(My cousin lives on the Oregon coast, right where the eclipse made landfall, and said her neighbors were making $200 a car by letting people park in their front yards to watch the eclipse.)
So cloudy here there were no shadows of anything at all. :( I did see the ’79 eclipse, at the age of four, so at least I have that.
October 14, 2023 is the next eclipse in the US !!!!
It’ll be an annular eclipse, which means that nobody gets totality, but there will be plenty of opportunity for photos.
This amazing picture was shot during an annular eclipse: