Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 - First Impressions

Over the weekend, Mrs. Graybeard and I drove the 800 miles to just north of Nashville, Tennessee to try to see the eclipse.  We're in a little city called Goodlettsville, a few miles from the centerline, but close enough to give only 10 seconds less of totality.  It worked out perfectly for us, with the few passing clouds not interfering with the crucial minutes of totality.

Commenter punzdeleon to my post on coming to see the eclipse had a great observation:
The sight of a black disc surrounded by glory plucks primal nerves. If you have the chance to see one do so. 
It truly is an incredible sight.  The last few minutes as totality approaches are almost other-worldly; the brightness of the 1PM sun drops slowly in the first hour of the eclipse, but as the last minutes tick off, the light drops so fast that successive pictures from my DSLR were different exposures.  Finally, in the last minute every surrounding streetlight, gas station sign; everything that runs on a light detector, turned on, as if it was anticipating a coming night.  When the sun finally vanished, a deep twilight remained.  Not fully night, but Venus was bright and a few bright stars stood out.  The corona, only visible during totality, was vividly beautiful.

I can't get pictures out of my DSLR here, so pictures will hopefully follow in a couple of days.  If they're actually good.


  1. I've seen a couple, and they're pretty amazing.

  2. Saw a total eclipse in my youth and living on a farm it was rather funny to see the chickens heading back to the coup. We are in the 90% range today so we didn't travel. Used a newer welding helmet and it did look good...not an hour later it was raining so we got lucky. indyjonesouthere

  3. I was in a 90% zone, but I managed to get a reasonably clear pic of the crescent by putting my phone camera in manual, running the ISO down as far as it would go, decreasing the exposure as far as it would go, and pointing it through a pair of eclipse glasses for the final filtering. It's not the greatest, but it's about as clear as my pictures of the first shuttle launch from miles away.

    I was visiting my wife in stroke rehab, 200 miles from home (and away from totality, dang it). For some reason it just didn't occur to me to bring my real camera.

  4. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. Even at 99.2 totality up here in Portland we did not get to see a corona but it was awesome in the true sense of the word.
    It would be worth a trip like that to see such a phenomenon in person.
    Words fail miserably trying to describe the works of God.

  5. We saw 81 percent, and the clouds broke at nearly the perfect instant to see the eclipse.
    Maybe its not too early to start planning 2024.
    Great description of being there and seeing the eclipse.