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Anyone with plans to view the Total Solar Eclipse? (General Info Inside)

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#1 Odin Exodus

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:25 PM

I plan on traveling from Ohio to Hopkinsville, Kentucky to view the Total Solar Eclipse on Aug 21 of this year. I was 7 years old the last time a total solar eclipse passed close enough to where I live that I could actually view it (1994). Of course, at that age and at that time, we didn't have anything beyond a crudely made pinhole projector. Now that I'm older, I appreciate these things much more to the point I'll be bringing along my family to share the event.

 

I was curious is anyone else had plans to view this epic event. If you plan on taking a trip, or are fortunate enough to live close to the path, what are your plans for the event? Will you be viewing through your telescope? Using special eye wear? Just curious what plans my fellow backyard astronomers have.

 

As for me, I've never viewed the Sun through a telescope. I own an AT72ED that could be fitted with a filter. Does anyone with a small Apo have a suggestion for which filter to use? I'm guessing a White Light filter like this from Astronomics would be enough to protect our eyes and view the sun/corona safely.

 

General solar Eclipse Info for Easy Access:

Top 10 Places to View the Eclipse (Space.com)

28 Page Slide Show about the Eclipse (Space.com)

How to Safely Observe the Sun  (Space.com)

Quick and Easy Viewing Techniques (Exploratorium.edu)

 

Cheers,

Odin



#2 SteveRosenow

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:26 AM

My wife and I plan on taking a 350-mile journey from our home in Shelton, Washington to the small central Oregon town of Madras, Oregon for it. My plans are to photograph the eclipse using two Meade telescopes and two Nikon DSLRs, plus a third Nikon DSLR I'll be renting from BorrowLenses, along with an 8mm fisheye lens. While the cameras are rolling, I'll be shooting video on a Nikon Coolpix P500, and observing through a Meade ETX70. It'll be a busy day, indeed. Everything will be filtered with Thousand Oaks filters except the wide-angle and video. The goal is to compile several composite images of the eclipse, and an HDR of totality showing the chromosphere, prominences (if any), the inner and outer corona, plus the moon.

I had initially planned on heading to an area just west of Stayton, a small farming town southeast of Salem, OR.

The plans I had made for Stayton were dropped, and changed over to Madras when I read a NOAA/NWS long-term forecast make mention that Madras has a historical average of having the best chances in the entire country to view it in terms of weather. In fact, Madras, Oregon's cloudcover average for that day is the lowest statistical average in the entire country. Several websites list Madras as having the best weather forecast probability, so I jumped on it.

That, and given the fact Oregon's Willamette Valley (where Stayton and Salem, Oregon are), is known for frequent marine layer cloud cover at that time of the year, which sets in at dusk and doesn't usually burn off until mid-morning the next day. And that's a scenario which is precisely when totality is expected in Oregon. I'd rather not take the chance at being stuck under a marine layer at 10:20AM (the time totality is expected in that part of Oregon)


Edited by SteveRosenow, 23 April 2017 - 03:32 AM.

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#3 APshooter

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:56 AM

I plan on driving down to St Luois, where about nine of my friends ares going to congregate around North Buder Park.  We're all staying in the same hotel, and the park is across the street.  There is an RC flying field there that has a large open space surrounded by trees.  The plan is to use this location as an imaging base.  If the weather in that location looks iffy, St Clair, which is right on the centerline, is 30 minutes south.  Fort Kaskaskia, which is on a scenic part of the Mississippi, lies about an hour south, as does a regional airport.  Using Fenton as a base, we'll be able to move a certain distance to increase our weather options.

 

I'm in the process yesterday and today of running my fully set up eclipse rig.  Yesterday I ran both the AP 130mm and my Lunt LS50 together with SetnC.  Tracking was though the Hinode Solar Guider. Both cameras are running in time lapse mode.  A third camera off to the side was also running SetnC and taking HDR stills for a simulated unfiltered timelapse video of the equipment and people.

 

Yesterdays' run went off without a hitch.  Everything from camera to focus to time lapses worked.  The next test will be getting everything up and running on the new tripod with today doing a 1 star daytime polar alignment.  After that it will be getting the battery box constructed for mobile imaging. 

Attached Files


Edited by APshooter, 24 April 2017 - 06:57 AM.

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#4 wrvond

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:02 AM

I just ordered a glass solar filter for my 10" dob. I intend to observe from my back yard, so it'll probably rain all day...
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#5 cfichter

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 02:32 PM

We are very fortunate in Oregon, the eclipse runs right through the middle of our state.

I'm a lucky one and landed a spot at our Rose City Astronomer and OMSI sponsored Oregon Star Party, we have a dark-sky location in Eastern Oregon mountains for the event. 900 spots sold out in 30 minutes when it opened up.  

 

Can't wait.

 

I have some Oberwerk 80mm ED binos, an 80m APO and 102APO (all have protective glass coverings) and the event is giving out glasses.

 

I'm going to attempt some imaging with the 102 I think- although no idea what I'm doing yet -- other thread post:

https://www.cloudyni...se-102apo-dslr/

 

Fortunately 3 dark-sky nights prior to the event. We can only hope for good weather, so unpredictable in Oregon although that time frame in August is usually pretty awesome.


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#6 kingjamez

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:37 PM

I've put together a family vacation in Nashville for the Eclipse weekend. I'll be driving down from D.C. I'll be bringing a Lunt 60THa, a PST, a ED80, and a DSLR. Looking forward to turning my young kids, nieces, and nephews into little astronomers.

 

-Jim


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#7 Stew44

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:39 PM

I'll be heading to Glendo, Wyoming for 2 min and 29 sec of totality if the weather looks good.  A little over three hour drive.

 

Stew


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#8 prichardson

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:56 AM

I will be in Denver area with wife and son the weekend of the eclipse.  Plan is to drive from Fort Collins to Glendo, WY early Monday morning if weather looks promising.

 

I am trying to put together an airline friendly travel package together.  I would bring my AT72ED as a carry-on and Manfrotto tripod (checked).  I would like to mount my iphone to the eyepiece for kid friendly live viewing.  Is there a travel mount anyone would recommend for this?  There is the new Skywatcher Adventurer Mini, but I don't think it could handle the telescope.  I do have a fluid head that would work, but was considering something that could track.  Any advice appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

Philip


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#9 wrvond

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 12:01 PM

I've put together a family vacation in Nashville for the Eclipse weekend. I'll be driving down from D.C. I'll be bringing a Lunt 60THa, a PST, a ED80, and a DSLR. Looking forward to turning my young kids, nieces, and nephews into little astronomers.
 
-Jim


I was thinking it might be a good time to visit with my brother in Nashville! wink.gif
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#10 charotarguy

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:05 PM

Will be driving approximately 930 miles to Marion Illinois (would be a good kids vacation as they are off), had put in a reservation for motel room last year by fluke and it went through (hopefully it stays that way and dont cancel it on me). I scouted out the area near by over at google maps and see some open spots. Also keeping my fingers crossed so it does not get clouded out, in any case even it gets clouded out would be fun interacting with people who have turned up to see the eclipse.


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#11 George Bailey

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:34 PM

Anyone with reservations had better confirm them in writing - I have already heard of folk who have either lost them ("We have no record of that reservation.") ... or told they will need to pay a lot more for the room ("It's a special event.") as motels have discovered this new cash cow.  

 

Any city on the path is going to be CROWDED folks !!

 

Don't ASSUME there will be a space for you - lock it down !!!


Edited by George Bailey, 25 April 2017 - 01:35 PM.

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#12 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 05:41 PM

I've booked hotels from Kearney, Nebraska (just outside Grand Island, which is fully booked) over to just past Lebanon, Tennessee.  I'll make the decision on which to use when the weather forecasts are available the week before.  And yes, there are some hotels that are still available around hotspots like St. Joseph, MO (although the airport for their big event is in Kansas!) where they have rooms at low end hotels for over $400 a night.  Depending on the location will determine whether I go somewhere to set up vs. just set up in the hotel parking lot!

 

Of course if there's any CNer along the path who's willing to host a daytime start party for the rest of us CNers (especially someone with some pastureland in the middle of Nebraska or Missouri), let us know.  I'd be happy to host in Texas if there was something worth seeing here!  grin.gif

 

Beo


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#13 groverro

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:39 PM

I am heading to St Joseph, Missouri. I was able to book accommodation in January and have called the place consistently every month and my reservation is still there. They told me that pretty much all the hotels/motels in St Jo are booked. Some are available but as Lord Beowulf mentioned, they are charging $450/night and one is charging $375/night. I will be calling them consistently until the eclipse month and then most probably until eclipse week. Hopefully I see other CNers there. Good luck!


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#14 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:02 PM

St Joseph is in the middle of my list.  It's a really easy drive straight up I-35 from Austin to KC.  I actually decided to book a hotel down in Overland Park since I have colleagues at the Sprint headquarters there and might drag them along.  It's only about an hour drive from there to the event location at the St. Joseph airport.  My concern is the setup at the airport looks like it could become a mess.  You need to reserve paid parking, etc. there now and the setup will be away from the parking.  I was hoping the university there might be doing something as well, but haven't heard anything.  My biggest fear is that with it that close to a major city, it will be overrun.  Similarly for major locations outside St. Louis.

 

Beo 


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#15 spereira

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:09 PM

My wife and I signed onto the Sky & Telescope tour more than a year ago. We'll be touring in Alabama and Tennessee, and then we'll be going to Hopkinsville for the eclipse. Here's hoping for clear skies that day!

 

smp


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#16 groverro

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:27 PM

St Joseph is in the middle of my list.  It's a really easy drive straight up I-35 from Austin to KC.  I actually decided to book a hotel down in Overland Park since I have colleagues at the Sprint headquarters there and might drag them along.  It's only about an hour drive from there to the event location at the St. Joseph airport.  My concern is the setup at the airport looks like it could become a mess.  You need to reserve paid parking, etc. there now and the setup will be away from the parking.  I was hoping the university there might be doing something as well, but haven't heard anything.  My biggest fear is that with it that close to a major city, it will be overrun.  Similarly for major locations outside St. Louis.

 

Beo 

There are 4 places in St Joseph where they are having events for the Eclipse, I went on the website http://www.stjomo.co...clipse-weekend/ and it is on the bottom of the page. I was hoping to take a taxi to the event from the hotel but if that's the case I should probably get a parking pass. I wonder if I could walk to the event from the hotel...


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#17 edremy

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 07:55 PM

I'm also heading to Nashville for the eclipse- renting a RV and hauling the family (and my new Lunt50) down with various stops along the way.

 

I have a reservation at an RV park just north of the city in the path of totality, but for folks in the area is there a place where viewing is good/people are gathering?  It would be nice to hang out with some other astro geeks


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#18 bobcat83

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:14 PM

I cooked up a plan with a friend of mine who lives in Oregon - we reserved a group campsite in a National Forest campground, on a lakeshore facing southwest, with 2:07 totality right at that location.  She reserved it the MINUTE reservations opened for the dates, for Friday through Monday.  Even so, we only got our second choice of locations - the one we wanted was right on the centerline - literally passes right through the campground - and she laughed and guessed some NF supervisor probably did an inside job to get the reservation ahead of her...  anyway, for a normal groupsite fee of $35/night or so, we have a bunch of friends flying or driving in from all over the USA (Baltimore, Dallas, LA, etc) to meet for a weekend of hiking, camping, and the eclipse on Monday.  I'm the only dedicated astronomer, although we are all hikers and nature types.  I'm bringing an 80mm refractor with a Baader solar filter, and eclipse glasses for everyone in my group plus some extras.  Nothing very technical as I don't want to be fiddling with stuff during my first ever experience of totality.


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#19 jforkner

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:38 AM

I rented a house in Sunriver, OR for 4 days (2 prior; 1 after the eclipse).  Plan to shoot with my Canon 6D & 100-400 II lens + 1.4x extender on motorized tracking mount.  Have acquired & tested Thousand Oaks Optical filter & several pair of eclipse glasses.  Been testing setup  connected to sun-shielded laptop running Backyard EOS.

 

Here’s another good link.

 

Jack


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#20 ybor

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:38 PM

What motorized tracking mount are you using with your Canon 6d ?

 

Thanks 


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#21 TJE

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:57 PM

My family and I will be visiting South Carolina to view the eclipse. 


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#22 Cajundaddy

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:07 PM

FWIW, I have been testing with my C90 and Baader filter.  After several minutes of eyepiece observing I felt discomfort in my observing eye.  I have pale blue eyes and have excellent night vision.  There may still be too much energy emitted with a Baader filter for totally safe viewing for folks like me.  I will use the Baader for photographic and use a TO for visual.  I never felt discomfort with a TO filter on the sun.


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#23 Rich_W

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:12 PM

We'll be driving to Tennessee and plan to view the eclipse south of Knoxville.   I'm planning to bring my TV-76 with a white light filter and we'll have eclipse glasses as well. We'll make a side trip to visit the radio observatory at Green Bank as an added attraction. 


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#24 jpbutler

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:23 PM

I will be heading to a campground in Arnold nb. 

Then heading up to South Dakota afterwards. 

 

John


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#25 wrvond

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:37 PM

I'm also heading to Nashville for the eclipse- renting a RV and hauling the family (and my new Lunt50) down with various stops along the way.

 

I have a reservation at an RV park just north of the city in the path of totality, but for folks in the area is there a place where viewing is good/people are gathering?  It would be nice to hang out with some other astro geeks

What park are you staying at?


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