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I am stressed out over this event!

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#26 WillR

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 03:07 PM

I'm stressing out too. Did over the annular last October as well and thought this one was going to be easy-peasy since I'm in Texas and totality will literally come to my front yard although I was going to be an hour and a half away for that glorious extra minute plus. BUT, now with all the forecasts I'm scrambling to come up with a new plan. Hey, I've only waited some 50 years to see a TSE so no big deal if I end up missing it right?

Yes, feeling my age.



#27 chrononaut67

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 06:55 PM

I'm not sure if it'll help anyone to read this, but I recently heard an interesting story about French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil and what he went through trying to observe a special astronomical event.

 

In 1760, the French government sent him via ship to India to record Venus's transit of the sun in 1761, which was a Very Big Deal for astronomers then as they wanted to use precise observations and data from that event to help calculate the size of the known solar system. On the way, war broke out between France and Britain, and British soldiers captured his destination city, forcing him to remain at sea. He watched the transit from the ship, but due to the ship's rolling movements he could not record usable data.

 

Le Gentil decided to stick around that area for eight years until Venus's next transit. He ended up going to his originally planned destination for the 1761 transit which was now back under French control, and he prepared for the transit in 1769. The day before the transit was clear. The day of the transit, it grew overcast and stormy, completely obscuring the sun. Immediately after the transit concluded, the skies cleared and remained clear for the rest of the day.

 

That's a super simplified version of the story. (Many more details at this website.)


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#28 chvvkumar

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:14 PM

I'm not sure if it'll help anyone to read this, but I recently heard an interesting story about French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil and what he went through trying to observe a special astronomical event.

 

In 1760, the French government sent him via ship to India to record Venus's transit of the sun in 1761, which was a Very Big Deal for astronomers then as they wanted to use precise observations and data from that event to help calculate the size of the known solar system. On the way, war broke out between France and Britain, and British soldiers captured his destination city, forcing him to remain at sea. He watched the transit from the ship, but due to the ship's rolling movements he could not record usable data.

 

Le Gentil decided to stick around that area for eight years until Venus's next transit. He ended up going to his originally planned destination for the 1761 transit which was now back under French control, and he prepared for the transit in 1769. The day before the transit was clear. The day of the transit, it grew overcast and stormy, completely obscuring the sun. Immediately after the transit concluded, the skies cleared and remained clear for the rest of the day.

 

That's a super simplified version of the story. (Many more details at this website.)

I first heard of his story in "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson! Fantastic book that I listen to once every couple of years.

 

https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/076790818X


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#29 geovermont

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:49 PM

Yes, Le Gentil's odyssey in pursuit of science makes any of our travel delays and potentially cloudy eclipses look somewhat (or entirely) trivial. I'm pretty sure that someone somewhere is going to get an awesome view of this eclipse, even if it isn't me. And I'll probably get to see their photos! So we just need to take it as it comes and hope for the best.


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#30 bunyon

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:51 PM

That story is incredible. Maybe the most fantastic of the 18th and 19th century transit expeditions, and there were some doozies.


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#31 kasprowy

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:52 PM

Que sera, sera

Or however you spell it

#32 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 08:49 PM

I think our background in Amateur astronomy actually makes us more stressed than the general population. 

 

There are thousands (if not millions) who are seeking out the path of totality, but many of these people aren't otherwise interested in astronomy. Many want to see it, but this event probably wasn't on their radar until recently. 

 

Everyone on this thread recognizes the true magnificence of this event. The amazing orbital mechanics which make it possible, the incredible coincidence on apparent moon/sun size, and the knowledge that one day the last totality shadow will cross the surface. These events are rare (unless you travel the world every few years) and many of us only get a few chances if we are lucky.

 

Amateur astronomy requires patience and perseverance. It doesn't always work out, but it makes those perfect opportunities that much sweeter! As others have said, we can't control the outcome and we are just along for the ride. I'm trying not to stress about it, but I would trade many clear new moon rights for those 4 minutes right now... 

 

For better or worse, I've left it very open. I'm waking up pre dawn on Monday to drive 2 hours south. I'm not quite sure where I'll end up, but I hope to snag an early spot in a park to hangout for the day. 

 

I'm just hoping for the best, and it will be an adventure either way!

 

Fingers crossed for everyone. 


Edited by Alex Swartzinski, 04 April 2024 - 08:54 PM.

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#33 JimV

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 02:07 AM

I've lived in Austin for 22 years, and the 14 day weather forecasts tend to be pretty accurate.  Although I could get 3:00 minutes from my driveway, I bought a TSP bunk.  I didn't want to deal with traffic near the center line to get 4 1/2 minutes.  I should have simply planned to drive to Bertram, it's not that far.  But outside Waco had a better forecast.  Kerrville is supposed to get 488k visitors.  Probably a lot from San Antonio.

 

I've been stressing and cussing about these clouds and my bad luck.  April is Austin's high rainfall month.  I've been to several cloudy eclipses, and they are non events.  So I just gave up and bought a plane ticket to Maine.  It's lower in the sky, and shorter duration, but weather forecast is clear.  I'm scared of going there.  Power outages, snowstorms.  Driving conditions.

I'll forfeit the TSP fee, unfortunately.


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#34 mikepier

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 04:41 AM

Back in 2017, I traveled 12 hours over 2 days from Long Island NY to South Carolina to see my first eclipse.

And on eclipse day, I was almost clouded, but the gradual lack of sun magically dissipated the one stubborn cloud in front of me.

I ended up seeing a spectacular show.

 

Lessons learned:  You have to treat this like an adventure, meaning nothing is guaranteed, but the risk is worth the reward. And you should just enjoy the overall experience, even if you are under clouds. 

And all you need is that 1 break in the clouds at the right moment during those 3/4 minutes.  Is it worth the risk to still go? I think so. Thats why I said to myself from months ago I will be going to the path no matter what. And hope for the best. 


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#35 WadeH237

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 05:37 AM

I am right there with you.

 

My original plans were to bring my wife and the dogs down to Texas (from Washington State) in the motorhome.  We have a friend with property in Texas and were told that it was in the path of totality.  When I actually started planning the trip, however I learned that it's actually quite some distance east of the path.  At that point, I abandoned the idea.

 

A couple of months ago, my wife convinced me that I should still make an attempt, so I booked a room at the TSP eclipse event.  The disadvantage is that it would be a solo trip.  My wife cannot manage long car rides without frequent stops (she is susceptible to deep vein thrombosis).  It seemed like a good idea, since the TSP event includes 4 nights of observing, and also the Astro-Physics folks would be there to announce - and show - a new product that many of us are thinking might be a new telescope.  Win-win-win.

 

So I've been on the road for the last few days from home, and am posting this from a hotel room in the DFW area, positioned for a 1pm check in this afternoon in Aquilla.  I knew before heading out here that the weather would be iffy, but I still had the other things to look forward to.

 

Yesterday, after arriving in the DFW area, Iearned that the Astro-Physics folks pulled out, and are going to try and find a location with better weather prospects.  I was a bit devastated when this happened, because at this point, I have spent many thousands of dollars and driven thousands of miles (one way), and everything I was looking forward to has pretty much evaporated.  For some personal reasons, finding an alternate site is a non-starter.  Still, it would be silly to give up now, there is still a (very small) chance that the eclipse will be visible, and skipping the event only to hear that there was a break in the clouds coincident to totality, would only be icing on the bummer cake.  So I'll be sticking with the plan.  It may end up that most TSP attendees are no-shows due to the weather, so it might be a quiet few days at a camp in Texas, followed by a long, long drive home.

 

I did change my post-eclipse plans for the return home, though.  I'll be adding a few hundred miles to take a southern route through Arizona.  I have a friend that lives in Tucson, and I'll stop over there for a few days.  He's got another friend there that is into astrophotography, so he is going to introduce me.  So that will at least help to salvage something from the trip.

 

And after sleeping on things after learning of the Astro-Physics change of plans, I'm feeling a lot better.  It helps that I've seen two total solar eclipses before (one cloudy and one clear), and attended 50+ star parties.  It also helps that I love long road trips, as they give me some nice solitude.  I have a comfortable car that is fun to drive, with a great aftermarket audio system.  So I've been enjoying working through part of my extensive music collection.

 

At this point, I am at the mercy of the weather, and I am actually OK with that.


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#36 WillR

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 06:55 AM

I am right there with you.

 

My original plans were to bring my wife and the dogs down to Texas (from Washington State) in the motorhome.  We have a friend with property in Texas and were told that it was in the path of totality.  When I actually started planning the trip, however I learned that it's actually quite some distance east of the path.  At that point, I abandoned the idea.

 

A couple of months ago, my wife convinced me that I should still make an attempt, so I booked a room at the TSP eclipse event.  The disadvantage is that it would be a solo trip.  My wife cannot manage long car rides without frequent stops (she is susceptible to deep vein thrombosis).  It seemed like a good idea, since the TSP event includes 4 nights of observing, and also the Astro-Physics folks would be there to announce - and show - a new product that many of us are thinking might be a new telescope.  Win-win-win.

 

So I've been on the road for the last few days from home, and am posting this from a hotel room in the DFW area, positioned for a 1pm check in this afternoon in Aquilla.  I knew before heading out here that the weather would be iffy, but I still had the other things to look forward to.

 

Yesterday, after arriving in the DFW area, Iearned that the Astro-Physics folks pulled out, and are going to try and find a location with better weather prospects.  I was a bit devastated when this happened, because at this point, I have spent many thousands of dollars and driven thousands of miles (one way), and everything I was looking forward to has pretty much evaporated.  For some personal reasons, finding an alternate site is a non-starter.  Still, it would be silly to give up now, there is still a (very small) chance that the eclipse will be visible, and skipping the event only to hear that there was a break in the clouds coincident to totality, would only be icing on the bummer cake.  So I'll be sticking with the plan.  It may end up that most TSP attendees are no-shows due to the weather, so it might be a quiet few days at a camp in Texas, followed by a long, long drive home.

 

I did change my post-eclipse plans for the return home, though.  I'll be adding a few hundred miles to take a southern route through Arizona.  I have a friend that lives in Tucson, and I'll stop over there for a few days.  He's got another friend there that is into astrophotography, so he is going to introduce me.  So that will at least help to salvage something from the trip.

 

And after sleeping on things after learning of the Astro-Physics change of plans, I'm feeling a lot better.  It helps that I've seen two total solar eclipses before (one cloudy and one clear), and attended 50+ star parties.  It also helps that I love long road trips, as they give me some nice solitude.  I have a comfortable car that is fun to drive, with a great aftermarket audio system.  So I've been enjoying working through part of my extensive music collection.

 

At this point, I am at the mercy of the weather, and I am actually OK with that.

Man, I feel your pain. My original plan was an extended road trip, but my partner decided she wanted to see it, so we made our plans to fly to Austin.

 

I haven't looked at the forecast today yet, but our very likely back up plan, which we will decide on when my partner gets home (from teaching high school astronomy among other things) is to get up Monday before dawn and drive the 3+ hours to Syracuse. Like your wife, that's about as far as she can drive, and that will require stops. It will mean forfeiting the $2K or so we have spent on flights, accommodations, park passes, rental car, etc. But the trip was never about visiting Austin, only about seeing the eclipse.

 

Woke up today at 4:30 and that was it. I don't think I'll get a good night's sleep until this is over.


Edited by WillR, 05 April 2024 - 06:56 AM.


#37 JimV

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 09:14 AM

Anxiety is caused by regret.  If only you had done "A" rather than "B".

There are no ideal locations to view this eclipse.  Nobody can see future exact weather.

Southern Illinois, Indiana look least terrible, and even New England is deteriorating.

Success is not guaranteed for anybody.  A patch may be clear only to be inaccessible from traffic jams or road conditions.

You have to rest satisfied you did your best.


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#38 fieldsweeper

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 11:05 AM

Anyone here going to summit county fairgrounds in Ohio? 



#39 JimB1

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:38 PM

Yeah, pretty stressed, loading my gear into the truck to leave for Niagara Falls tomorrow morning and as of this minute, they are saying mostly cloudy for Monday so might be a wasted trip as far as the eclipse goes. Setup a tour of Toronto and a museum visit as well and we've never seen the Falls so not a total waste but still holding out hope that the weather breaks for 10 minutes at the right time while I am there...

 

Oh yeah, and we just had a earthquake so there's that too... lots of freaked out people waiting for locusts and a rain of frogs to complete the set LOL

 

-Jim


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#40 chvvkumar

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:52 PM

As Dave Barry says, die had been cast, and there was no way to put the shoe back on the other foot. I am driving to Indiana tomorrow morning.


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#41 Matt78

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:54 PM

I’m reminded of this time I went to a water park with my family. My wife and nephew were in line for this insane v-shaped slide that must be over 100 feet tall, where you drop down one side and go up the other several times before you lose momentum. I HATE that kind of thing. I was absent mindedly chatting with them and followed them up the stairs a ways before I realized what I had done. I decided it would be embarrassing to be the guy who walks back down the stairs (today I’d most do that anyway), so I went on the ride. I told myself it’s going to be awful but then it will be over. I told myself whatever happens, I’m just riding it out. There’s no moral that I ended up loving it. It was awful. Although I briefly seemed about to go head over heels while upside down and nearly vertical and maybe 90 feet in the air, but I didn’t, and I was uninjured, and I’ve been fine ever since.

This is how I’m treating the eclipse. I may get stuck in traffic 8 hours or more for a 45 minute ride. I may not be able to find a place to watch. I may get clouded out. No idea, but I’m committed now, and by Tuesday it will all be over.

Good luck to you, clear skies, and safe travels to and from!
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#42 JimB1

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:13 PM

No, if it's cloudy, we will experience it with clouds. If I were going to watch it on TV, I'd stay home. 

It’s like most sport events, you always get a better view on TV at home but that’s not the point really.

 

It’s about experiencing things yourself, good or bad, and building those memories. sometimes it’s just about meeting other people with the same interests or just being in a place you haven’t been before.

 

We went to Egypt a few years back and my favorite memories aren’t the pyramids or temples, I liked having Shwarma at a street vendor and sitting and having coffee with the guide at a little hole in the wall outdoor smoking lounge in Aswan. Little things like that dominate my good memories bin way more than seeing castles and temples do. 
 

So we’ll see what happens, maybe the weather will work, or maybe not but might find a nice coffee house in Toronto or meet some new friends at the falls, I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

 

-Jim


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#43 WillR

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:25 PM

It’s like most sport events, you always get a better view on TV at home but that’s not the point really.

 

It’s about experiencing things yourself, good or bad, and building those memories. sometimes it’s just about meeting other people with the same interests or just being in a place you haven’t been before.

 

We went to Egypt a few years back and my favorite memories aren’t the pyramids or temples, I liked having Shwarma at a street vendor and sitting and having coffee with the guide at a little hole in the wall outdoor smoking lounge in Aswan. Little things like that dominate my good memories bin way more than seeing castles and temples do. 
 

So we’ll see what happens, maybe the weather will work, or maybe not but might find a nice coffee house in Toronto or meet some new friends at the falls, I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

 

-Jim

A total eclipse is a 360° total immersion event. You can't experience anything even remotely like that on TV. Maybe one day with virtual reality, and it would be a cool experience in virtual reality.

 

As for sports, it depends. Most people would take a court side seat at an NBA game over watching it at home. It's like you're in the middle of the game. Like a total eclipse.



#44 Mike Q

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:34 PM

Anyone here going to summit county fairgrounds in Ohio? 

I am in Crawford County and I am staying put.  It will be what it will be.



#45 gjanke

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 01:43 PM

I am in Crawford County and I am staying put.  It will be what it will be.

It’s will be ….great!

 

My friend, if your in Ohio, in the path of totality, get ready to experience the miracle of syzygy.


Edited by gjanke, 05 April 2024 - 01:44 PM.


#46 fieldsweeper

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 02:15 PM

It’s will be ….great!

 

My friend, if your in Ohio, in the path of totality, get ready to experience the miracle of syzygy.

miracle of syzygy?  What is that? haha,  Not in on the joke, I am in Ohio 



#47 chvvkumar

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 02:35 PM

miracle of syzygy?  What is that? haha,  Not in on the joke, I am in Ohio 

I did not know either but apparently it is a thing

 

https://en.wikipedia...ygy_(astronomy)

In astronomy, a syzygy (/ˈsɪzədʒi/ SIZ-ə-jee; from Ancient Greek συζυγία (suzugía) 'union, yoke')[1] is a roughly straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system.[2]

The word is often used in reference to the Sun, Earth, and either the Moon or a planet, where the latter is in conjunction or opposition. Solar and lunar eclipses occur at times of syzygy, as do transits and occultations. The term is often applied when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction (new moon) or opposition (full moon).[3]

When Earth is one of the bodies involved, the other objects appear to be close together (or overlapping) in the sky.

 


Edited by chvvkumar, 05 April 2024 - 02:36 PM.

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#48 dnrmilspec

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 02:53 PM

This reminds me of the last scene in Close Encounters where the people were drawn to the event.  I know it will be very special for those who attend.


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#49 Mike Q

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 03:59 PM

It’s will be ….great!

 

My friend, if your in Ohio, in the path of totality, get ready to experience the miracle of syzygy.

I am about 20 mile east of being dead center of totality.  I am between  Marion and Bucyrus.  If I wanted better I would go over to Upper Sandusky or Forrest Ohio.  For what its worth, no idea what syzgy means either.  


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#50 Katharine

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 09:27 PM

Oh, my friends have been putting up with me stressing about this for a while now.  "My hotel is gonna cancel any day now... any day, just wait..."  "What if the rental-car place runs out of cars?"  "I keep hearing how awful Dallas traffic is, what if I have an accident?"  "What if traffic is so bad the day after that I miss my flight home??"  What I did not expect to run into was "It's gonna be cloudy and I'm going to see nothing and will have spent all this money to go to a small town where there's not much else to do as a consolation prize, either..."

 

This is something I have always wanted to see, and I will never again have another chance to see it (I'm not able to travel to other countries to try to see an eclipse from there).  Never mind that I'm spending a fair amount of money, which is totally worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but not at all worth it for a "be gone three days, spend two of those frantically driving between airport and hotel, and the other sitting in a small town watching it rain or looking at clouds."  (I could stay home if I wanted to look at clouds, TYVM.)

 

Might need to spend Sunday evening making astronomy friends, so at least on Monday we can all sit and have a commiseration party...

 

I've pretty much accepted that no matter what happens, I will be crying that day, for some reason...


Edited by Katharine, 05 April 2024 - 09:31 PM.




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