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Trying to explain to friends and family what it was like.

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#26 upritbass

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:15 PM

Before the eclipse the Grand Teton mountains were spectacular. After the eclipse the Grand Teton mountains were ... mountains. 


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#27 ismosi

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:53 PM

I watched from Lexington, SC. Up until the final couple or so minutes the Sun was behind a cloud. Then, it just dissipated or moved on (not sure which) and there was the Sun in a clear sky. I've been replaying what I saw every morning after I wake; and it's still as awesome. And I can't believe how lucky we were to see it. I've heard it was a life-changing experience and I thought that was hype -- but it wasn't. 

 

Can't wait till '24  ..


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#28 gma

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 05:48 PM

A big part of what makes it such an amazing experience IMO is the pacing - the BUILD. First a little nip out of the sun - can't even tell it's happened without solar glasses. Then the long waiting progression begins...little by little it's eaten away. It's almost boring. Then it's perhaps a little darker, then perhaps a little cooler? Yes, cooler. And then noticeably darker. Then shadows become HD - sharpened by the increasingly pin-point light source. Your eyes seldom see light like this adding to the unreal feeling. Then wait - the shadows are crescents! Then as we approach totality everything starts happening fast - the crescent becomes a sliver smile getting smaller from the ends. Then the diamond ring and night and BANG - it instantly goes from blindingly bright to something beautiful and utterly unique. You have three minutes to absorb corona and flares - with that utterly black circle at the center. The sky - not quite night but stars and planets appear. Then more flares and again the diamond ring. Now it's almost over, except the the growing light that looks like it comes from an arc lamp - made even more unreal by your semi-dark adjusted eyes. Amazing.


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#29 PXR-5

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 07:02 PM

I watched from Lexington, SC. Up until the final couple or so minutes the Sun was behind a cloud. Then, it just dissipated or moved on (not sure which) and there was the Sun in a clear sky. I've been replaying what I saw every morning after I wake; and it's still as awesome. And I can't believe how lucky we were to see it. I've heard it was a life-changing experience and I thought that was hype -- but it wasn't.

Can't wait till '24 ..


I was on the other side of Columbia in Lugoff, I saw that cloud "the UGLIEST cloud I've ever seen" it was to the right of the event for us. But yep that darn thing did dissipate :)
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#30 17.5Dob

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:18 PM

I don't even bother trying to explain it..... 

I've seen every total eclipse photo since the mid 60's and read every first hand report. I've seen 12 -15 partial eclipses, all the way up to 95- 96 %, and nothing, NOTHING, could have prepared me for the visceral reality of seeing it first hand !

I held up pretty good, all the way through totality, but when that huge blast of the purest , brightest light I've ever seen erupted  at C3, I lost it. Tears were streaming down my face and it took me 3-5 minutes to regain my composure .

Driving home, (once I finally got a cell phone signal, after crawling for hours to get to a "town"), I texted my my wife "No Words", the line from Jody Foster in "Contact".

 


Edited by 17.5Dob, 26 August 2017 - 10:19 PM.

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#31 oncefaster

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 03:14 PM

For any who REALLY have time on your hands and may care, I penned a 5 segment narrative of my whole experience from leaving home to return. The 5th and final is about 2 book pages in length and includes the actual eclipse experience. It turned out pretty well I think, with a bit of humor included.  Im not a writer but a few friends and acquaintances seemed to like it a lot. Its on my Facebook page: Richard Kim Kniseley


Edited by oncefaster, 27 August 2017 - 03:25 PM.

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#32 charotarguy

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

For any who REALLY have time on your hands and may care, I penned a 5 segment narrative of my whole experience from leaving home to return. The 5th and final is about 2 book pages in length and includes the actual eclipse experience. It turned out pretty well I think, with a bit of humor included.  Im not a writer but a few friends and acquaintances seemed to like it a lot. Its on my Facebook page: Richard Kim Kniseley

link please



#33 jcastarz

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:01 PM

Instances like this remind me of a description from a local newspaper journalist where I live:

 

It was one of those scenes that challenges the limits of photography.
The "eyes" have it; no camera can do it justice.

 

- Paul Sullivan, Free Lance-Star, 12/10/2005


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#34 DrkNite

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 09:41 PM

Outside of describing the eclipse, which is hardly possible without actually seeing it, I did try to convey to my family another perspective that they could see during the eclipse.

 

I pointed out Venus to them, and my son saw other "stars".  I tried to impress upon them that for the first time in their life, they were actually looking ACROSS the solar system as it is, and as a member of it.  Not as a "spectator" on the side when you can see the various planets after sunset or before sunrise.

 

Representation from https://www.solarsystemscope.com/ :

 

 

Attached File  sol_sys.jpg   116.13KB   0 downloads

 

 



#35 vickiestar

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:14 PM

It makes me wonder what it was like to have a baseball game delayed by the eclipse. One game was stopped for the eclipse, then after the eclipse, the game was finished. I wonder what the announcers said to start the game again.

 

"Eclipse is over! #25 Billy Boy is batting now!"tongue2.gif

 

fyi little bits of the game are in this video at around 0:40, 1:30, and 5:45":

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=VAEUYM4Een4

 

smile.gif uhhh5.gif crazy.gif



#36 ed_turco

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:23 AM

I tried to describe the effect in my "Eclipse" poem, now in Amateur Astronomy Magazine.  Tens of editors turned this one down over 40 year period, until Charlie Warren took a chance on it.

 

Even now, this written work of mine has gone over with a  giant Thud!  Except with people who actually saw totality.

 

Then, it becomes a horse of a different color :)   Other than what I wrote, I have given up trying to convince people.   


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#37 Mike Spooner

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:58 PM

Anticipation.

Bathed in glory.

Awe at 3rd contact "diamond ring".

 

Sadness it's over. Joy of the memory.



#38 Exeligmos

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 02:07 PM

No words.

 

If I had to choose one word: Transcendent

 

Some things that may make it so hard to describe....

 

Extreme range in brightness - There is a very wide range of brightness between the inner part near the moon's limb and the outer coronal extensions. This reveals subtleties that can be seen only with one's own eyes (as can be with brighter deep sky objects like M42). Photos and videos, as spectacular as they can be, still look flat.

 

Approaching shadow - This is apparently very difficult to capture on video, but it is stunning in person. My freak meter was peaking as the darkening was accelerating at a frantic rate. I've searched Youtube in vain for anything that came close to what I saw. Nothing captures how the human eye adapts with slow dimming, and then maxes out just before totally rushes in.

 

Strange effects - There are some subtle effects that happen near and in totality that are incomparable with anything in one's experience. One that comes to mind is the perceived closed-in, almost intimate nature of the scene just as the sun was peeking out after third contact. At the time, I was standing in a church parking lot under a clear sky, but the lighting was very subdued yet very intense. My brain tried to tell me that I was standing in a relatively small, darkened room with some sunlight sneaking in through the 'blinds'.

 

And then there is the problem of fading memory. Right after the eclipse, my recollection was distinct. Over time, though, some details have faded, often replaced after seeing hundreds of photos and videos taken by others. I can now understand what drives eclipse chasers to the ends of the earth to witness another one. They are desperately trying to recapture what inevitably fades. At least we have another one in 6.5 years.


Edited by Exeligmos, 24 September 2017 - 12:53 AM.

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#39 SKYGZR

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:32 PM

Have tried to convey in pic's & (2) "movies" from stills...yet seems it's all been lost in time..more "pressing issues" & "life" always seems to get in the way/override the SPECTACULAR and MYSTICAL experience....those who missed it / didn't experience it must now be in a bit of denial as to how SPECTACULAR a celestial event like this actually is in person.

 

I will continue to convey images, yet most won't/don't care....it's kind of sad really....the "so what" mentality of most....



#40 caveman_astronomer

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:38 AM

...

 

Approaching shadow - This is apparently very difficult to capture on video, but it is stunning in person. My freak meter was peaking as the darkening was accelerating at a frantic rate. I've searched Youtube in vain for anything that came close to what I saw. Nothing captures how the human eye adapts with slow dimming, and then maxes out just before totally rushes in.

 

...

No question, the approaching/receding shadow is STUNNING as you see it race toward or away.  It gives the event a three-dimensionality that photos and videos can't show.



#41 caveman_astronomer

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:51 AM

Before the eclipse the Grand Teton mountains were spectacular. After the eclipse the Grand Teton mountains were ... mountains. 

waytogo.gif

 

"Spectacular" has been devalued in the language, for example "A spectacular, star-studded extravaganza..." to describe an ordinary TV-special or show.  Eclipse chasers are some of the few people who get that.


Edited by caveman_astronomer, 24 September 2017 - 10:51 AM.


#42 caveman_astronomer

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:53 AM

 

...

 

Approaching shadow - This is apparently very difficult to capture on video, but it is stunning in person. My freak meter was peaking as the darkening was accelerating at a frantic rate. I've searched Youtube in vain for anything that came close to what I saw. Nothing captures how the human eye adapts with slow dimming, and then maxes out just before totally rushes in.

 

...

No question, the approaching/receding shadow is STUNNING as you see it race toward or away.  It gives the event a three-dimensionality that photos and videos can't show.

 

Make that FOUR-dimensionality, three of space, one of time.



#43 TheDeuce

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 12:01 PM

The ultimate measure of awesomeness:  I saw teenagers put down their cell phones!

 

(Not Millenials mind you; no one would expect that.  But teenagers?  Yup.)

 

 

 

 

m.


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#44 REC

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

What I did for some images to go with a short description, I downloaded 3 images of the eclipse to my phone. One is a 80% covered, then one of totality from the naked eye view and then a close up of one with the full corona as seen in my 9x63 binoculars. The last one really gets the OMG's reaction.

 

Where I live in NC it was 98% covered, but I show them.....it's not the same as 100%!



#45 Exeligmos

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:37 PM

The ultimate measure of awesomeness:  I saw teenagers put down their cell phones!

 

(Not Millenials mind you; no one would expect that.  But teenagers?  Yup.)

 

In some videos of crowds, there were people who glanced briefly at totality and snapped some photos, but then texted DURING TOTALITY.  foreheadslap.gif  I can't speak for everyone, but I would be inclined to wait a couple more minutes to witness one of the rarest and most awesome sites in all of nature before I shared my experience on social media.


Edited by Exeligmos, 24 September 2017 - 02:38 PM.

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#46 charotarguy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 06:33 PM

I don't explain, just stay silent, don't say anything, think it conveys more then words...smile.gif .



#47 vickiestar

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 09:58 PM

 

The ultimate measure of awesomeness:  I saw teenagers put down their cell phones!

 

(Not Millenials mind you; no one would expect that.  But teenagers?  Yup.)

 

In some videos of crowds, there were people who glanced briefly at totality and snapped some photos, but then texted DURING TOTALITY.  foreheadslap.gif  I can't speak for everyone, but I would be inclined to wait a couple more minutes to witness one of the rarest and most awesome sites in all of nature before I shared my experience on social media.

 

lol.lol.gif

fyi, here's a good video where nearly every person has a cell phone in hand:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=A7_kry9mohg

 

Totality (as evidenced by yells and shadows) is almost immediate, and finishes around 2:15. After 2:30 not much else happens, but skip to around 5:30 to "remind" yourself what the normal scene brightness is.crazy.gif



#48 Exeligmos

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:18 PM

 

In some videos of crowds, there were people who glanced briefly at totality and snapped some photos, but then texted DURING TOTALITY.  foreheadslap.gif  I can't speak for everyone, but I would be inclined to wait a couple more minutes to witness one of the rarest and most awesome sites in all of nature before I shared my experience on social media.

 

lol.lol.gif

fyi, here's a good video where nearly every person has a cell phone in hand:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=A7_kry9mohg

 

That's one of the videos I had in mind. smile.gif



#49 REC

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 08:10 AM

 

 

In some videos of crowds, there were people who glanced briefly at totality and snapped some photos, but then texted DURING TOTALITY.  foreheadslap.gif  I can't speak for everyone, but I would be inclined to wait a couple more minutes to witness one of the rarest and most awesome sites in all of nature before I shared my experience on social media.

 

lol.lol.gif

fyi, here's a good video where nearly every person has a cell phone in hand:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=A7_kry9mohg

 

That's one of the videos I had in mind. smile.gif

 

Nice campus to view the eclipse! Those students will have a lifetime of memories. My daughter had the same event at Clemson, SC. Can't wait to see her videos when she comes home.



#50 Phillip Creed

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:49 AM

When I try to explain what totality's like to those who saw a partial eclipse, the analogy I like to use is, "The Matrix".

The partial phase of the eclipse is like everything leading up to swallowing The Red Pill--you know something is wrong with the world, but you can't quite put your finger on it.

Totality is like swallowing The Red Pill and "waking up" in The Matrix.  NOTHING that Neo--or a first-time viewer of the movie--has experienced up to that point compares--or help prepare--for that moment.

Or, another sci-fi analogy I like to use is this--totality is like standing inside the TARDIS and having access to all of time and space.  Anything other than totality means you're standing outside a curiously-placed police box.


Clear Skies,

Phil




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