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Convincing people to see the 2024 total solar eclipse

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#1 knightowl

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Posted 22 July 2023 - 02:33 PM

Back in 2017, so many people that I cared about (family, friends, peers) missed out on the total eclipse. It killed me inside to hear them say "Atlanta got 95% of the eclipse so that was good enough for me". They totally missed it. But were ignorant of what they missed out on.

 

In an effort to convince those people to see the 2024 total solar eclipse, I wrote a little piece describing the event (based on my 2017 experience). My hope is that it opens up their emotions and pushes them to consider making the effort. Sharing my first draft below...

 

An hour before the eclipse you don't notice any difference. You look at the sun through a solar filter and pinhole projection and see that the moon is indeed making its way across. It looks kind of cool, but, meh...

 

About 5-10 minutes before totality, things start looking weird. It's getting darker. You feel like you have sepia filters over your eyes. Contrast lessens. Someone is closing the window blinds...

 

About 1-5 minutes before totality, the sky starts to transition from twilight to dark. Stars and constellations shine. Planets, too, like Mercury and Venus. Birds, confused, start chirping their morning and evening songs. You feel like something big is about to happen.

 

Then, TOTALITY. The Moon and Sun combine and suddenly you are thrust into night. You look up and see an ominous black orb suspended in the sky. The blackness of the orb feels blacker than the sky because it is surrounded by a whispy, bright halo with tendrils that stretch out so far to make the Sun/Moon appear four times their normal size. Eerily, it looks just like an eyeball. You have never felt more small or humbled. Some of the people around you (ones that seemed reserved leading up to the eclipse) make primal yelps. Your friend next to you (the one that doesn't believe in God) says "Oh my God." You feel frozen but you're shaking. You're not sure how to react so you yell out with everyone else. You lose all sense of your modern self; genes buried deep inside you from a million years ago reactivate and you devolve back into a Homo Erectus.

 

You spot little bits of red and pink along the edges of the Sun/Moon: these are solar prominences which are more fully appreciated with a pair of binoculars or telescope. You pull up your binoculars and you're blown away by the details you're seeing, just right there, with your own eyes. You're used to the Sun being a featureless, bright flashlight, one that you never look at directly, but now you've been given the opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain and see just how dynamic and active it is. That whispy halo is the Sun's corona; it contains ripples in a pond of light which fades off to infinity where the light from other stars take over. All along the perimeter of the Sun/Moon, you see the prominences. They're deep and bright, red and pink. Some appear as spots between lunar mountains while others make grand arcs following local trails of magnetism. Each prominence is different. Some are concentrated, like a necklace of beads, while others are like miniature whisps the size of Earth.

 

At your location, totality lasts for four minutes, an amount of time that feels forever during the event but a blink afterward.

 

Suddenly, the Moon's shadow retreats and you are thrown back into the light of the Sun. It feels as if you've just been jolted awake from a deep, immersive dream where you were part of some ancient Aztec ritual. Now you find yourself standing under the lamp of the Sun, bemused, as if naked in a hospital hallway with no memory of how you got there. Like the child from the viral video you think "Is this real life?" You spend the next six years pondering that, until the next total eclipse teases the opportunity to find out.


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#2 BOSS3128

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Posted 22 July 2023 - 03:42 PM

2017 was my first total solar eclipse.  I was lucky enough then to live only about 2 hrs away from 2 1/2 minutes, so I was able to do some scouting in the weeks before.

 

After I returned home, I got much of the same "We saw 97% here".  My reply was that they saw a partial eclipse, seeing totality is a completely different event.

 

I said if I get to go next year, I am not going to waste time taking pictures.  I want to set up a video camera to capture the crowd's reaction in the location I am at.

 

Also, I will set up a filtered scope, and have a step ladder so the kiddos can have a look.


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#3 Greyhaven

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Posted 22 July 2023 - 05:29 PM

Your first total eclipse is a wonderful event to witness. I will say that subsequent eclipses, if you are fortunate enough to experience others, both total and partial offer many subtle events happening in those precious  moments. Sharing equipment, manually operating cameras and trying to be a play by play announcer will greatly decrease your own eclipse adventure. During a partial eclipse one might notice, by chance,in the dappled shade of a near by maple tree a thousand pinhole camera images of the eclipse appearing and dancing around for those looking for it.

It is all good.

 

Grey


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#4 jwheel

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Posted 23 July 2023 - 09:36 AM

The 2017 total eclipse was a life altering experience for me.


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#5 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 23 July 2023 - 06:42 PM

Observing a 97% partial eclipse is like watching 97% of the Super Bowl
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#6 Rickycardo

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Posted 23 July 2023 - 06:57 PM

Seeing 97% coverage of a total eclipse is like going to the superbowl but sitting in the parking lot.
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#7 BOSS3128

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Posted 24 July 2023 - 05:47 PM

It is official, I am in.  Made my motel reservation this evening.

 

I tried to get a motel in Poplar Bluff MO, and they were "Why are we all booked up in April of 2024???"  I had to explain it to them.  Called a motel in Sikeston MO, $500 per night.  I don't think so, I'll drive a bit from my motel in TN.


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#8 knightowl

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Posted 27 July 2023 - 06:24 AM

Made this graphic to try and illustrate the difference between partial and total...

 

solar_eclipse_cool_factor.jpg


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#9 Astroman007

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Posted 31 July 2023 - 11:25 PM

Nice little piece of inspirational writing OP. If they need any more convincing, maybe they should miss it as they clearly don't appreciate the majesty of nature.


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#10 winstar

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Posted 08 August 2023 - 02:01 PM

I enjoyed your writing, and I think the graphic is a great thing for the visual ones among us. I remember getting frustrated at a friend in 2017 who very confidently explained to me that we could just watch it from his home in CO instead of driving to Alliance, NE (in the path) as planned. I would have liked to have your graphic and writing on hand.

Edited by winstar, 08 August 2023 - 02:01 PM.

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#11 BOSS3128

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Posted 08 August 2023 - 06:32 PM

Hard to tell from the above post.

 

Did you both make it to the show?



#12 winstar

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Posted 11 August 2023 - 04:12 PM

Hard to tell from the above post.

Did you both make it to the show?


We did make it, thanks, and both enjoyed it in our own ways.

#13 BOSS3128

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Posted 11 August 2023 - 05:18 PM

Sweet that your are in the path of totality for next year!!



#14 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 04 October 2023 - 01:03 AM

You have to convince people to see the October 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse first!!!

 

Most people just aren't interested in eclipses unfortunately.  I try to explain how rare and special these events are but they don't care.



#15 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 04 October 2023 - 01:05 AM

It is official, I am in.  Made my motel reservation this evening.

 

I tried to get a motel in Poplar Bluff MO, and they were "Why are we all booked up in April of 2024???"  I had to explain it to them.  Called a motel in Sikeston MO, $500 per night.  I don't think so, I'll drive a bit from my motel in TN.

You got lucky in July 2023.  I booked a hotel room in Erie (Pennsylvania) 366 days before the April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse.  On the very next day, 365 days before the eclipse, the rates tripled.


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 04 October 2023 - 01:06 AM.


#16 Richie2shoes

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Posted 06 October 2023 - 07:40 AM

You got lucky in July 2023.  I booked a hotel room in Erie (Pennsylvania) 366 days before the April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse.  On the very next day, 365 days before the eclipse, the rates tripled.

Same here.  As soon as the date opened up on the reservations, I grabbed it.  My only regret is that I didn't book 2 nights to avoid the traffic.



#17 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 07 October 2023 - 10:01 PM

Same here.  As soon as the date opened up on the reservations, I grabbed it.  My only regret is that I didn't book 2 nights to avoid the traffic.

You do know that you need to be on-site for at least two days in order to observe the Lunar Occultation of Venus on April 7, the day before the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8?


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 07 October 2023 - 10:03 PM.

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#18 chtullu

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 09:14 PM

To be honest, I've never been that into Solar eclipses. That's just me.


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#19 Rickycardo

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 09:31 PM

Not into eclipses

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#20 BOSS3128

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 05:29 AM

lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif



#21 edsmx5

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 06:07 AM

Consider this:

After the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, the next total solar eclipse that can be seen from the contiguous United States will be on Aug. 23, 2044.
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#22 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 07:59 AM

To be sincere, I’d prefer most people get motivated in fighting light pollution rather than on observing eclipses.
A total solar eclipse is wonderful but we’re talking of 10 minutes per century (for a given location) vs having low LP nights all year round for the whole century.
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#23 edsmx5

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 08:10 AM

To be sincere, I’d prefer most people get motivated in fighting light pollution rather than on observing eclipses.
A total solar eclipse is wonderful but we’re talking of 10 minutes per century (for a given location) vs having low LP nights all year round for the whole century.



That's an entirely different matter, no? There's what, 36500+ days in a Century? Take one for the Eclipse, fight Light Pollution on the rest. It's an admirable endeavor, I just don't think this thread is the place for it.
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#24 Nankins

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 11:15 AM

Great write-up! I'm actually in the process of planning and putting together a 4-H spark club that will occur over March and April. Even though the eclipse is on a school day I'm gonna use it as a selling pont and will try to have school notes or something to give out so kids can go see it. Gonna make sure they know the next time this happens will be about 20 years from now.... I saw totality in 2017 in southern Illinois with my family, right near the center of where the 2017 and and 2024 eclipse center lines will cross. Now we are all about going to totality.....
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#25 rowdy388

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 03:37 PM

In 2024 I'll only have to travel a couple hours (a day trip) for totality. In 2017 I drove over 1500 miles. You bet I'm going.


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