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2024 Totality - question related to path width / optimal position

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#1 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 06:39 PM

I have a bunch of questions...

 

The 2024 total eclipse path of totality is passing directly over my home and yard. The center of the totality path (~100miles wide) is approx 40 minutes drive, as I am only 20 miles within the totality path.

 

Is there value in driving the extra distance to be closer to the center of the path? Duration of the eclipse will be longer of course, but I am thinking more of things like Baily's Beads etc... will they be visible for this eclipse?, Are they visible anywhere in the path of totality or only near center path?

 

Backyard is convenient but I would like to maximize this opportunity, will reposition if it is of benefit.


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#2 Diana N

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 08:14 PM

You can see Bailey's Beads and the other eclipse phenomena anywhere in the path of totality.  The centerline gets you the maximum eclipse length.

 

What I would do is sit tight and see what the forecast shows a day or two before the eclipse, then base any repositioning plans on where you are the most likely to get clear skies.


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#3 Bryguy

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 09:16 PM

The cabin I am renting is under the path of totality but not directly on the center line. I was also thinking of traveling those extra miles, but, the more I think about it the more I'd rather stay put as long as the weather cooperates. We are talking about a difference of 10 seconds. I remember it took hours in 2017 to drive 20 miles after the eclipse in TN. Sine I'll be in TX, I'd prefer to be off of the roads that day.


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#4 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 09:33 PM

Surveyor, you did not mention your location and your totality duration time at your home. In general, people who are observing their first few eclipses want to position themselves to maximize their time in the umbra. The 2024 eclipse has a total duration of over four minutes halfway through Indiana.  In my view, this long-duration totality opportunity should not be wasted.  You see, it is a great thing to be able to see a 4-minute-plus eclipse and not need to travel internationally.  So being reasonably close to the centerline is a good thing. After people have had a few good totality experiences, some eclipse chasers will position themselves on the northern or southern edge of the path on purpose to maximize videotaping the progression of Baily's beads because they last much longer when the Moon is not centered on the Sun.  But this is usually within a couple of miles of the edge.  I need to research this distance myself because this is my plan for the 2026 eclipse in Spain. So, if you are a novice and can easily drive to get a 4-minute plus totality, I would do that. Of course, eclipse observing is all about the weather. If you are aware of Xavier Jubier's eclipse maps there is a slightly hidden feature in his pop-up.  The "LC" is also a hyperlink that shows you what your beads will look like at your position.

Attached Thumbnails

  • chapter 21 beads an LC.jpg

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#5 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 11:25 PM

Thanks for that info. I saw an annular solar eclipse way back in May 1994... (which was a similar path to the 2024 eclipse) but I have never observed a total eclipse.

Yes, it is a short drive for me to centerline. As Diana N recommended above, I will have a few specific locations pre-planned along the path so that I can try to beat any clouds.

I will look for Xavier's eclipse maps. Thanks again

 

FYI - Surveyor1 is not my username, but simply a fun moniker that CN gives each user based on their post count

 

Surveyor, you did not mention your location and your totality duration time at your home. In general, people who are observing their first few eclipses want to position themselves to maximize their time in the umbra. The 2024 eclipse has a total duration of over four minutes halfway through Indiana.  In my view, this long-duration totality opportunity should not be wasted.  You see, it is a great thing to be able to see a 4-minute-plus eclipse and not need to travel internationally.  So being reasonably close to the centerline is a good thing. After people have had a few good totality experiences, some eclipse chasers will position themselves on the northern or southern edge of the path on purpose to maximize videotaping the progression of Baily's beads because they last much longer when the Moon is not centered on the Sun.  But this is usually within a couple of miles of the edge.  I need to research this distance myself because this is my plan for the 2026 eclipse in Spain. So, if you are a novice and can easily drive to get a 4-minute plus totality, I would do that. Of course, eclipse observing is all about the weather. If you are aware of Xavier Jubier's eclipse maps there is a slightly hidden feature in his pop-up.  The "LC" is also a hyperlink that shows you what your beads will look like at your position.



#6 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 11:33 PM

Xavier’s map here :)


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#7 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 11 March 2023 - 11:52 PM

Thanks! My backyard shows 2 min 27 seconds

The closest center of path to me shows 3 min 37 seconds

 

Xavier’s map here smile.gif


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#8 nicknacknock

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 12:01 AM

I think that 1 minute and 10 seconds are totally worth the drive…


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#9 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 08:45 AM

Char, if this is your first total solar eclipse, I think you will want to maximize your total duration. If you are telling us that your max duration at the centerline is 3m 37s, then that means you are in the northeast (New York state?).  So, the other issue you need to consider is the risk of cloud cover for that part of the path. So, you will want to take a peek at Jay Anderson's work at eclipsophile.com . Attached are two illustrations I use to reach about this.

Attached Thumbnails

  • cloud cover slide.jpg
  • cloud cover book page.jpg

Edited by foxwoodastronomy, 12 March 2023 - 09:32 AM.

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#10 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 10:03 AM

Yes - in Canada just above NY. In 40 minutes I would be at the Centerline.

 

Char, if this is your first total solar eclipse, I think you will want to maximize your total duration. If you are telling us that your max duration at the centerline is 3m 37s, then that means you are in the northeast (New York state?).  So, the other issue you need to consider is the risk of cloud cover for that part of the path. So, you will want to take a peek at Jay Anderson's work at eclipsophile.com . Attached are two illustrations I use to reach about this.



#11 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 10:18 AM

Understand, so you are driving south to get to the centerline. I contributed information, along with Jay Anderson, for this Montreal Blog article a couple of years ago.  You might find reading it interesting. www.mtlblog.com/montreal/a-total-solar-eclipse-is-crossing-quebec-in-2024


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#12 Alan D. Whitman

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 11:55 AM

Moderators:

 

Shouldn't the Sun totality, April 8, 2024 thread be moved over here? That lengthy thread has already covered next year's totality rather well.



#13 nicknacknock

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 11:58 AM

Let’s please stay on topic, but I will look into it.



#14 Alan D. Whitman

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 12:36 PM

Char Lake,

 

I have never had the path of totality pass right over my house, so I don't know how I would feel if I were you. But I am 12 out of 12 in chasing central solar eclipses, ten total solar eclipses and two annulars, around the world, and I pick my country and the location within a country based on Jay Anderson's climatology data, and then I maximize my chances by being mobile on the days leading up to totality. It has not always been easy -- I would have been clouded out by a little cloud that formed minutes before totality in 1979 if I hadn't moved a mile north only two minutes before totality (and that was after earlier having driven for hours before dawn from our hotel in the climatologically best area, a semi-desert, that was getting about the heaviest February rain that it would ever see.)

 

My situation is somewhat comparable to yours though, because the 2024 path crosses central New Brunswick, my home province, and I still have siblings in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, including a sister in Moncton just barely outside the path, so this would be a chance to fly home cheaply on airmiles, visit relatives, and avoid any accomodation expenses. Will I? No, I would never risk missing a long totality like this one by going somewhere with iffy climatology. We will be driving to Texas where I have a house reserved and paid for just outside the path and will drive to the centreline very early on eclipse morning, ahead of the crowds, as we did in both Oregon and Chile. But during the drive to Texas I will be checking the weather forecast charts each day, and if the weather requires it, I will divert to anywhere along the path that the freeway system will allow me to reach in time, not worrying about the paid for house rental in Texas.

 

Your first post mentioned Baily's Beads. Baily's Beads are the only thing that are far superior at an annular eclipse to those at a total eclipse. That is because the Moon is larger than the Sun at a total eclipse so the dwindling solar crescent has fatter cusps than the long thin cusps produced at an annular eclipse when the Moon is smaller than the Sun. At the May, 2012 annular eclipse I wrote in my log: "Although the second contact beads were brief, the Baily's Beads after third contact were marvellous, going on and on for 3 minutes and 42 seconds after annularity ended. Jim's tape-recording has me calling out 36 beads after third contact, including a beautiful string of five early on."

 

If you want to see Baily's Beads, go near the path edge at this October's annular eclipse. But go to near the centreline for totality, and be mobile.


Edited by Alan D. Whitman, 12 March 2023 - 01:04 PM.

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#15 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 04:37 PM

Thank you... will read that.

Yes, for closest centerline I would drive to Watertown NY.

 

Understand, so you are driving south to get to the centerline. I contributed information, along with Jay Anderson, for this Montreal Blog article a couple of years ago.  You might find reading it interesting. www.mtlblog.com/montreal/a-total-solar-eclipse-is-crossing-quebec-in-2024



#16 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 04:43 PM

Thanks Alan

That's a great record. I travel quite frequently for business, so I prefer to stay near home during my "off-time". I will roll the dice on the weather... knowing the odds are not great in April.

 

Char Lake,

... But go to near the centreline for totality, and be mobile.



#17 bunyon

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 05:02 PM

I would point out that a whole lot of people are spending a ton of money, time, sweat and maybe blood to get to Australia this April for a minute of totality. If you can drive 40 minutes to get one more minute, I would do so.

 

I would also stay as mobile as possible, which everyone will tell you. They're absolutely right.


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#18 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 05:49 PM

Yes, I know there are many avid eclipse chasers. While I am quite involved in am-astro and have been for >20 years, my interests are primarily in DSO observing, and DSO imaging, a bit of planetary and lunar, but not solar.

 

The solar eclipse thing is therefore a curiosity, and with next year's total passing over my house, I am being opportunistic. If it is clear, then after I experience one, perhaps I will finally understand what the fuss is all about.



#19 MEE

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 08:02 PM

If it is clear, then after I experience one, perhaps I will finally understand what the fuss is all about.

1. If it’s cloudy, be sure to go as far as you can safely and practically go to escape from the clouds

2. When you see what the fuss is about, you can start planning trips to Australia in July 2028 and Southern Africa or Australia in November 2030 to see another totality and see and photograph some southern hemisphere deep sky targets:

http://xjubier.free....gleMapFull.html

http://xjubier.free....gleMapFull.html

An inspirational story from 2017 (she was not into astronomy and was skeptical): https://suburbanturm...rld/2017/08/26/

Edited by MEE, 12 March 2023 - 08:11 PM.

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#20 Diana N

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 10:42 PM

There is also going to be an extremely long total solar eclipse over Luxor, Egypt in 2027. I have already booked a tour with Sky & Telescope!


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#21 Alan D. Whitman

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Posted 12 March 2023 - 11:59 PM

There is also going to be an extremely long total solar eclipse over Luxor, Egypt in 2027. I have already booked a tour with Sky & Telescope!

I have already booked as well because I doubt that there will be any hotel rooms left in Luxor a year or two before totality. And it is amazing that the longest duration would be right near the archaeological wonders of Luxor.

 

Jay Anderson says that the chance of cloud is about 3 percent!

 

Luxor is the Big One that rolls around every 18 years. I was in Mexico in '91, China in '09, and ever since the 6.5 minutes that we saw in Mexico in '91, I have planned to be in Egypt in '27. Those younger than I can plan to see the Big One in '45 when it crosses the USA. But the Big One is a little shorter each time that it rolls around in the saros cycle because each one is ten days later, and so the date keeps moving further away from July 5th or 6th when the Earth is at aphelion and the Sun appears smallest.


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#22 nicknacknock

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Posted 13 March 2023 - 12:16 AM

Moderator notice: Let's stick to the 2024 eclipse for the moment please. A 2027 TSE forum will be created when the time is right.


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#23 SporadicGazer

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Posted 13 March 2023 - 10:40 PM

Moderator notice: Let's stick to the 2024 eclipse for the moment please. A 2027 TSE forum will be created when the time is right.

Since one of the S&T tours for 2027 has already sold out... maybe the time is already right? (Though I understand and agree the 2024 threads aren't the right place.)



#24 nicknacknock

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Posted 14 March 2023 - 12:23 AM

Since one of the S&T tours for 2027 has already sold out... maybe the time is already right? (Though I understand and agree the 2024 threads aren't the right place.)

All in good time. Let's get over the 2024 TSE and then we will arrange this ;)



#25 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 14 March 2023 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for all the enlightening answers from those knowledgeable on the subject. For a TSE noob such as myself, the information in these threads is extremely helpful, and will undoubtedly maximize the experience. 





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