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Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

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  • Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

    "The Monday, April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean. Weather permitting, the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT.

    The path of the eclipse continues from Mexico, entering the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse. The eclipse will enter Canada in Southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. The eclipse will exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. NDT."

  • #2
    Oh goodness! That is so cool!


    • #3
      Well, the eclipse is almost upon us. Our local weather forecasters here in Indianapolis are predicting no rain and partial clouds for Monday afternoon. I hope they are right! Lots of places here are giving away free eclipse glasses. I got a pair at the public library. They are really dark. If I look at a bare light bulb, I don't see it at all! We are supposed to get a bit over 3 minutes of totality here. If the weather holds, I expect it will be quite a show! I hope some of our other members get to see it too.


      • #4
        30% here, so not a big deal. They sure are predicting pandemonium for the places right on the line that get the best and longest total.

        Several local & news channels are scheduling big blocks for this- that's probably going to be the best sun watching for me, and news on any silliness that people get up to. (I'm semi-expecting sections where the eclipse gets regulated to a corner square, with the news deeming what's happening on the ground more news-worthy.)


        • #5
          Yesterday, I watched the total solar eclipse. It was amazing, fascinating, exhilarating, and various other adjectives that I have not thought of yet! I decided to go to the Indianapolis Zoo for the event. I was expecting a lot of traffic downtown before the eclipse, so I got there about two and a half hours before totality was expected (at just after 3 PM). Going to the zoo was no problem at all, but leaving was another story entirely (stupidly, I left too soon after totality - the traffic jam really crawled)! But, being at the zoo for the eclipse was fun. When I first walked in I passed through a large greenhouse building where they have tropical butterflies flitting about. They do that every year for 4 or 5 months through spring and summer. After that I walked past the new chimpanzee exhibit that is going to officially open on Memorial Day. I was surprised and pleased that four of the chimps had been let out to roam about their large enclosure and through a system of elevated walkways that allow them access to a second large enclosure. I watched two chimps in the enclosure for a while. They were both curious to look at the visitors who stopped by and came right up to the glass in a shady sitting area. Two other chimps were exploring the elevated walkway.

          For the next two hours, I just walked about the zoo and observed the animals who were out in their enclosures. The day was warm and sunny with just a few light clouds. The lions were out sunning themselves on a big rock. A large bear was sleeping the afternoon away. The tigers were up and active, padding around their enclosure and occasionally batting a large ball around. Its interesting to see large cats playing in similar ways as a house cat. The keepers give the big cats various toys as enrichment activities. I remember things being very different when I was a young child with lions and tigers and other large animals in small cages with nothing to do all day long. That, in retrospect, seems very cruel!

          As I walked about, I would check the progress of the eclipse every 10 minutes, or so. Each time I would put on my eclipse glasses and then look up at the Sun, watching as the moon slowly blocked more and more of the Sun's disk. One thing that surprised me was that the sky didn't begin to noticeably dim until the eclipse was close to totality. So, even with half, three quarters, or seven eights of the Sun's disk blocked, the sky was still just as bright, at least to my eyes. Getting near totality, some animals started to vocalize. From a distance, I heard what seemed to be a sort of ethereal bird call. I had never heard anything like that before. I followed the sound, and finally, when I discovered the source, I was very surprised. It was the troop of gibbons sounding off. I have seen them a number of times before, but they were always just quietly brachiating about their enclosure, using their very long arms to swing from one branch to the next, back and forth. Maybe they sound off every evening, but I always finish my zoo visits hours before normal sunset times.

          I found a nice spot to sit and wait for totality. Just before the Sun winked out, I heard the nearby sea lions call out a few times with their barking vocalizations. Totality came very quickly and lasted for almost four minutes. The sky suddenly darkened, I removed my eclipse glasses, and a very bright planet suddenly appeared not far from the Sun. I think it may have been Venus. It was certainly brighter than I have seen Jupiter or Saturn appear before. At the same time, the Sun's corona suddenly became visible as a ghostly wavy ring about the blackened disk. I was surprised and very pleased to see a bright orange spark at the bottom of the disk. I think it must have been a solar flare that extended far out from the Sun's surface. I took a number of photographs before, during, and after totality. For pre and post totality, I covered my digital camera's lens with my eclipse glasses, as I had heard that the bright Sunlight might damage the light sensing part of the camera. I have yet to view my pics on the computer screen, but if I get some good ones, I will try to post a few here. I am still processing my memories of the eclipse, and how it made me feel, but one thing I am sure of is that it was one of those rare events, that only come a few times in a person's life, but that we remember with great detail and clarity for the rest of our days. It was a truly special and enjoyable event!


          • #6
            Congrats on the once-in-a-lifetime experience!

            I watched the TV stuff- mostly CBC. (It was so cloudy here I couldn't even do that colander-holes weird shadows silliness.)


            • #7


              Unfortunately, my pics of the eclipse didn't turn out very well. However, I found this pic from a NASA photographer of the solar prominence that I described as a bright orange spark in my previous comment. As the article (linked above) discusses, that prominence is probably bigger than the Earth. Amazing!