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Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby freestone » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:53 pm

We had prime viewing here in Idaho Falls and seeing
Totality was worth all the effort to get here from SoCal. Nice people and gracious hosts. We will see some local sites but probably avoid Yellowstone and Jackson Hole this trip.


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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby Gazelle » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:49 pm

Was on top of castle peak in idaho with my boyfriend and a random group of 5, it was spectacular we were above any smoke with 360 degree views! As for traffic it was not bad at all we got to the 4th of july trailhead late fri/early sat morning and started hiking, went over what some call spaltski? Pass to upper chamberlain lake (on the way did a quick hike up mt Peterson (or something with a similar name). Sunday we traversed around castle peak to castle lake and merriam peak as a day hike. Monday started at 7:15 and were on top of castle at 9 (not in anyway as loose as some reports say) amyway spectacular! Went back grabbed our packs back over pass back to the truck by 4 really no bad traffic through Ketchum south tjen back to tahoe at 1:30am trip report coming later i hope i got some good pictures
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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:33 pm

Got home mid morning today. My first but maybe not my last total eclipse of the Sun. Incredible beyond words.

Started my drive up US101 mid morning after the commute Wednesday and reached Brookings Oregon a bit over 400 miles just over the border from Crescent City, about 7pm. Spent night for free in my Forester at a convenient roadside rest. First time ever up the Oregon coast and there are indeed some very nice seashore landscapes, though is not the time of year for anything serious so my drive was mostly a scouting trip. Especially superb were the tree covered sea stacks at Secret Beach. Camped Thursday at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, drove further up the coast then crossed east over the low coastal mountains to Salem, the Oregon state capitol with over 300k population in its county, so a decent sized city.

Salem Riverfront Park just after sunrise 6:30am Monday at our Tent City while most folks were still in their tents. City reported about 2300 people spent the night in their specially opened city parks, most tenting like this but many just throwing down sleeping bags atop tarps or sitting in chairs with blankets. I arrived early on Saturday morning nabbing a prime shaded parking space near Tent City and left my Forester sit there. Lots of fun and laughs meeting hundreds of people from not only all over the USA and Canada but also a few from beyond, while helping a Salem person on the official NASA ham radio reporting network doing a documentary and greeting new tenting arrivals. Everyone awoke Monday to beautiful sunny blue skies with enormous energy building all about as even more people streamed in, especially those local in the region from Portland, Seattle, and Eugene.

Image

This is same area about 10 minutes before totality after many tents had been packed up. By then with most of the sun occluded, it was noticeably darker than normal, however the camera exposure makes it look normal. People had already spent time looking at the partial eclipse and were biding their time leisurely as the main event approached.

Image

My single modest image attempted just as the sun moved out of totality with the diamond ring phenomenon. The corona halo is diffuse due to heavy marine air at Salem that still has considerable water vapor and the sun peaking out causes flare. I did not have gear to do anything serious so left that to the astronomy enthusiasts anyone can check out online. One needs a telescope as a lens with a camera adapter, tracking motor system with software, sun filters, and experience. Best plan is to experience such an eclipse without distractions absorbing what to me is as close to a natural emotional religious experience as this earth creature has yet lived.

Image

Instead I did a modest video just aimed at our local crowd and tents on the grass from about a minute before till a minute after totality. Maybe a thousand or so people in our Riverfront Park zone. Best part is all the yelling, screaming, and whooping. Most of us were surprised how dramatically the light suddenly changes between the diamond ring phase and totality, that takes just a few seconds. Totality is suddenly much much darker than at any partial eclipse point and the whole sky takes on a different look. Much of the sky is still light so it is not quite like night due to scattering of that sky light down to the surface. However because of the light sky, human eyes tend to make the landscape even appear darker than it is as one's iris closes more for a similar value of night brightness.

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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby Shawn » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:13 am

Thanks for the report David. That is an awesome photo of the eclipse !
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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:08 pm

Thanks Shawn, after the eclipse, I thought it was probably rather ordinary but then have perused Google Images for "diamond ring eclipse" seeing what other photographs are out there.

The considerable rays of light from the diamond glow falling across most of the face of the darkened moon give it strong graphic value. Being in the frame upper right quadrant towards the corner complements the diamond position geometry. I simply got lucky with the exposure as I just spent a valuable moment near totality end changing my Exposure Compensation on the A6000 in Aperture Priority mode, 2 stops lower from where it had been at -1 to -3. A few minutes earlier before totality had been taking shots of the crowd with compensation at -1. Just a crude experienced guess to really bring that down low with a small aperture. Captured histogram does show the diamond a bit overexposed but that won't hurt since it is supposed to be bright. There are some areas between the rays with prismic colors that I don't know if that is a real phenomenon or a camera artifact? Although a clear sunny day, it was marine air at Salem that causes more diffuse light that may be related?

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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby BigMan » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:22 am

Thanks partly to the inspiring comments in this thread, I experienced the eclipse on the top of Strawberry Mountain in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest.

I left San Jose at 4 a.m. Saturday morning and by 6 p.m. was camping among the dwarf whitebarks on a saddle 300 feet below the peak. With moderate temperatures, clear skies, no bugs or smoke, and a wonderful view of Prairie City and the valley below.

All the fear and anxiety about crowds, traffic, smoke, and weather were resolved. Everything just seemed to fall into place. I had all Sunday to relax, free of plans and deadlines. I was in a wilderness, but had no expectations of solitude, and really enjoyed every social encounter. We were all there for the same reason, and the positive energy and anticipation were palpable. Even the wildlife felt it - I witnessed two ravens dancing and free falling in air, and about 15 mountain goats playing on a snow bank.

A few visitors camped on top of the peak, and the rest us, about 200 or so, started heading up at 5 a.m. on Monday. I'd been mostly awake since 2 a.m., waiting for the day to begin like a kid on Christmas morning.

Many of us positioned ourselves on the edge of the peak's ridge, looking west, anticipating the arrival of the moon's shadow. I promised myself I wouldn’t sacrifice any totality messing with a camera, but in the moment I couldn’t resist. I captured (as best as I with an iPhone could) the approaching darkness, the vocal excitement, and some of the initial moments of totality in this video:



After totality was over, I felt some sharp regret for shooting this video. Totality was over too soon and I wanted more. Others were talking about plans for 2024, while others talked about Argentina 2019.

Within the next hour most of the visitors were gone from the peak. Many of us stayed and watched every last second of the remaining partial eclipse. I stared for what seemed like forever, straining my neck, until I could no longer see any speck of black on the sun’s edge.

An hour later, I was back in my camp, with just two quiet campers nearby, feeling moved, emotional, different. When I finally watched the video my regret melted away. I cried, feeling more emotional than I had felt during the event.

Seeing everyone leave so soon was told me to stay there another night. I drove home to San Jose the next morning, taking a beautiful scenic detour through Lassen Volcanic NP.

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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby SSSdave » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:48 pm

After perusing Youtube for crowd and landscape videos, yours BigMan is to this point the best I watched. There are large numbers of mediocre videos as is the case with most Youtube video subjects so it takes time wading through all the uninteresting or poorly done ones. There are professional videos by tv networks and big web sites where some authority is yakking away or others where people dubbed music over the crowd reactions, both of which are annoyingly distracting. The first minute might be edit cropped off and the end should have waited for the sun to appear, however the rest will be pure gold for your memories. Particularly like how one can see the darkening landscape rush towards your position at 2000 mph and then the excellent audio of all those who climbed up there. Another thing you could add in a rectangle at the corner of the video is a synchronized view of the sun/moon if someone else atop the mountain was recording that.

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Re: Going anywhere for the 2017 total solar eclipse?

Postby oleander » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:35 am

My friend and I watched the eclipse while thru-hiking the North Cascades National Park in Washington.

We had come in with no expectations. This is the kind of place where rain can descend for weeks at a time.

Our first four days were mostly cloudy. Day 5, Aug 21, dawned with bluebird skies.

We woke in heavy forest cover. These are some of the deepest, darkest, most magnificent old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. Giant Western Red Cedars nearly as fat as Sequoia trees. Toads the size of two of your fists put together. Bright green ferns, iridescent yellow caterpillars, glacial aqua rivers, blood-red thimbleberries, and the blackest, glossiest black bear we'd ever seen. But we wanted some sunlight, so we scrambled down the trail for an hour till we found a spot that trended southeast and had sufficient canopy opening to witness the full, late-morning movement of the sun.

Over the past 2 days we had met backpackers who offered up their spare eclipse glasses, but we had our own.

We watched the eclipse for two hours, starting at 9:10 a.m. We spent a minute or three trying to decipher which side of the sun would be occluded first. The first hint of occlusion happened at the 2 o'clock side of the sun.

Although the moon's movement across the sun was so slow as to be indecipherable, we were mesmerized, and couldn't take our eyes off it.

At maximum occlusion - 91% in our location - it was noticeably chillier, but nearly as light as before. The birds did not stop singing.

I guess we were backpacker-hungry, because the shapes of the occluded sun reminded us only of food. Hey - it looks like those sweet dried tangerines from Trader Joe's! What I wouldn't give for one of those right now! Oh, wait...Now it looks like a banana!

No people, none at all. Only the toads and the grouse were around to share the view.

Unforgettable day.
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