August 22, 2017

Totality, 10:21 a.m.

We’re a day late, but here’s the eclipse. I was working for Agence France-Presse and sending to and  a couple of other astronomy websites that I didn’t have time to post to the blog. It was quite a sight, incredibly surreal to see a black dot where the sun should be. The corona extended far from the sun as seen with the naked eye. It did seem very different from the Svalbard eclipse in 2015. The corona looked like some creature surrounding the sun that came out just during the eclipse. I can see why ancient people might have been terrified of the sight. The temperature dropped 20 degrees F in Madras, as measured by some scientists who were taking readings of all sorts of things.

There were cheers and gasps from the crowd gathered at Madras High School as totality began. Darkness descended on the town as the eclipse proceeded above us. The football scoreboard clock counted down the seconds to the end of totality. I was operating 4 cameras  and changing the controls on 2 of them but managed to take my own advice and watch the eclipse for many long seconds. Here’s a selection of photos and I’ll post a bigger page in a few days.

Now Ann writes her impressions:  As it got closer to totality, the temperature dropped 20 degrees from 77 to 57. About 10 or so minutes from totality, the sky was washed in darkness but it was a kind of bright darkness, not like anything I’ve ever seen. You look and you think, it’s dark. But it’s not. It’s like looking through sheer navy blue or black fabric in daylight. Then, at totality, it was twilight, very chilly. All eyes were on the sun. People were spread out over the football field, cheering and clapping. There was a brilliant, diamond white light around the sun, glowing with a terrifying intensity. People were staring wondrously, like a spaceship was landing, Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was dazzling white light, the whitest of whites, like a Broadway musical, showgirls in rhinestones, a thousand klieg lights going off all at the same time. It brought tears to my eyes.

On the field at Madras High School.

The “Bailey’s Beads” effect is seen and red solar prominences. The bright sunlight shining through the moon’s mountains and craters create the bead effect.

My friends Wally and Rush from Albuquerque during totality.

The entire eclipse path from the Madras High School football field. The scoreboard counts down to the end of totality.

The entire eclipse path from the Madras High School football field. The scoreboard counts down to the end of totality.

Comments (2) | More: Blog

2 Responses to “TOTALITY!”

  1. David Balderston says:

    I loved reading Ann’s reactions, as well as just seeing what is so rare for humans to see in the sky above us, stretching out and out. Hawaii’s live lava must present a great new challenge!

  2. Beautiful shots, Stan, and what an experience you had. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing a look at that amazing phenomenon! (This comment erroneously placed under the campground blog post!)

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