Six Unconventional Photos of the Eclipse and the Stories Behind Them

Herbert Rhodes
August 30, 2017

For those of us who were fortunate enough to experience the eclipse in its path of totality - many of whom traveled to our west or south, some for hours or even days - it was a spectacle that induced a sense of awe, a fleeting vision of otherworldly beauty that quickly became a shared communal moment. Many children visited with representatives from The Fleet to observe science demonstrations. The rest of the nation, including here in central Virginia, saw it as a partial eclipse and it basically took over the news all around the country for the whole day. In fact, several people gathered at the Eclipse Watching Party (sponsored jointly by the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and the Monticello Milling Company) across the street from the First Baptist Church expressed surprise that so much of the sun could be covered (all but a tiny sliver at the bottom) while the day could still remain so bright.

As the eclipse progressed, complete strangers began to talk to each other and share eclipse-viewing glasses, so that everyone could have an opportunity to witness this awesome, rare event.

The total eclipse was a welcome diversion to the hatred, division and senseless violence that has occurred across the country.

Faith King of Geneseo and Garratt Mincer of Piffard were among the campers who learned about planets, stars and the moon as part of the library's event. I found that these physical effects that could be felt and seen in the United States were the most impressive part of the eclipse. On a whim, I asked to borrow a pair of eclipse viewing glasses. So, what are scientists hoping to learn from studying this eclipse?

"We're in the business of furthering exploration", he said. But skywatchers won't have to wait that long for the next one, which is set to take place on April 8, 2024. How odd is it that, at a time in our history when we are able to understand and describe (some of) the mechanics of our solar system, that the moon covers the entire face of the sun during an eclipse?

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The 2045 eclipse will be the nation's last coast-to-coast total solar eclipse happening this century. Geneseo's will follow roughly 30 seconds behind.

If you miss the next total solar eclipse in 2024, there won't be another in the contiguous United States until August 2044. That pass was seen from a very thin ground track from California through Canada.

Spectators experienced roughly 80% (peak for the Fargo-Moorhead area) by 1 p.m., resulting in the what was roughly the shape of the crescent moon to partially cover the sun.

Totality seemed like it lasted less than a minute instead of two and a half, but as soon as a sliver of the sun emerged on the other side of the moon, things went back to normal.

"It's kind of America's eclipse, right?" Until then, watch this video and re-live the great American eclipse of 2017. Start planning for April, 2024 with line of totality in Ontario along the north shore of Lake Erie.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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