Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review of Great American Eclipse

The Experience of a Lifetime



On August 21, 2017, I like many Americans, experienced my first total solar eclipse.  This eclipse which stretched from one coast to the other has been called the Great American Eclipse.  I had read a lot about the eclipse and we had talked about it in my photography club, but I don't think I was really prepared for the awesomeness of the totality.  It really was an experience that cannot be explained in words or even photos.  It needs to be experienced.

Our house was on the edge of the path of totality so after considering my options, I elected not to get a solar filter for my camera but rather to completely experience the few seconds of totality that we would experience.  My friend Susan,  my husband Ray and I gathered on our deck at about 11:45 to experience the eclipse.  The first hour or so went by rather slowly with the moon slowly covering an increasing area of the sun.  Then during the last 15-20 minutes the time went by way too quickly as we watched the sun going from about 3/4 covered, to a sliver, to finally totality.  The sky went darker and darker during this time, the shadows changed, the birds began to chirp and the cicadas became increasingly noisy.  Then totality and we took off our solar glasses and saw the diamond ring around the sun.  Totally AWESOME!!  We could hear cheers go up all around our neighborhood and from a schoolyard down the road.   Everyone was amazed.

During totality I did take one photo with my Canon point and shoot camera which has a 35 times zoom lens. That photo is depicted at the start of this article. It was handheld so it is a bit blurred,. but I wanted one photo that I took, after that I just tried to take in my surroundings.  

There will be another total solar eclipse in going through the USA in 2024 and if you can make it I would strongly recommend trying to get to the point of totality.  The partial eclipse is great to see, but seeing totality is definitely the experience of a lifetime!  


Photographs from Fellow Photographer

One of the members of my photography club, Bob Krause takes excellent photos and had a solar filter for his camera.  He got some great shots of the eclipse, taken on his deck in Lake St. Louis, Missouri,  which he said I could share on this post.  Here are 3 phases of the eclipse selected from Bob's photos.





Movie with Eclipse

This lively musical starring Bing Crosby features time travel and the predicting of eclipse and is based on Mark Twain's novel of the same name.




Buy a T-Shirt to Commemorate your Eclipse Experience

If you have not already gotten a T-shirt of the eclipse you can still purchase them on Amazon.  Click on the link below to see a wide selection of shirts.

Solar Eclipse Shirts


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

7 comments:

  1. SO glad you were able to experience totality during the Great American Eclipse, Mary Beth. Your photo and those of your fellow photography club member were terrific! I was all ready with my solar glasses to experience the 97% total eclipse here on the Georgia Coast, but alas we had a rain storm move in an hour before and the heavy clouds kept even the daytime darkening from occurring. No shadows, no bird or animal changes, no sun to see at all. Quite disappointing. Hopefully my daughter in St. Louis got to see it as you did. I DID see all the coverage on TV all across the country, so that was interesting.

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  2. Bravo for you Mary Beth! I am so happy you and Ray got to see the total eclipse. I had made the decision beforehand to leave my camera inside since the solar filter was so expensive. You certainly got an awesome shot yourself!!! You must thank Bob Krause for all of us here on Review This, for being willing to share his images with us. They are beyond fabulous! As it turned out for us, we had moderately heavy rain. Enough to keep me inside. However, my son was about 30 miles away and he did get to see the total eclipse. I was beyond thrilled for him that he did get to have that experience. Thank you for sharing our experience with us. I can easily imagine the cheers that went up over the total eclipse.

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    1. I thank you for sharing with me what I could not see.

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  3. Mary Beth, how wonderful and experience for you. We were covered with cloud for most of the day, so did not get to experience what you did. Still I survived the eclipse and I'm so happy that your friend shared his pictures with you and us. We were not in the path of totality, so in a way I feel cheated. Hopefully I'll still be here in 2024 to see the next one. In the meantime I will live vicariously through your shared photos! Thank you!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your experience. I knew I wouldn't see it, and I did sleep through it as I expected. My husband got up later than usual because he wakes up by the sunlight. It was pretty dim that morning at the time he usually wakes up. I was depending on my friends for a view of it. You are one of them who came through. You got a great shot, and Bob's photos were wonderful.

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  5. You're right, Mary Beth, even the best photos don't really capture the feeling of totality. Those solar filters are pretty expensive, especially when you consider how rarely you'll use them, but I just couldn't let this eclipse go by without trying to capture it. I'm glad you could use my photos in your blog. :-) I definitely plan on heading down toward Cape Giradeau or somewhere in SE Missouri to see the 2024 eclipse, especially as it's the day before my birthday!

    Bob

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  6. The photos and news reports of the Eclipse captured it for those of us who only enjoyed a partial. The partial wasn't anything compared to those who saw the full! In 2024 we'll get a better one where I am in Canada. Glad many in the US had a unique and rare experience.

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