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2017 vs 2024 Total Solar Eclipses and Coronas

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#1 quantumgiggles

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 09:24 PM

Hi friends, I'm still recovering from Monday, as it was my first total solar eclipse. I've been indulging myself in so much post-eclipse content, such as learning about the Saros cycles and just how involved calculations for eclipses are!

 

Anyway, I've been reading a few things here and there about how this eclipse compared to 2017's. It seems that the corona in 2017 was fainter but more detailed, revealing greater structure in the strands and wisps emanating from the Sun. In comparison, 2024 seemed to have been a much brighter yet more uniform halo around the Sun, with finer detail and asymmetries not as easily visible. Perhaps this is a result of weather being a more troublesome factor this year, as it seems that nearly everyone but those in Maine were affected by some level of thin, high cirrus clouds which may have obscured these finer details. Another factor I've heard is that the corona is intrinsically more luminous and uniform near solar maxima. 

 

I'm honestly having trouble remembering exactly what I saw with my own eyes, but I do remember that it wasn't completely symmetric, and I was able to detect at least one meatier strand around the upper left quadrant of the Sun. For those of you who saw both eclipses, could you write about your experiences?



#2 DeepSky Di

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 05:43 PM

Hi friends, I'm still recovering from Monday, as it was my first total solar eclipse. I've been indulging myself in so much post-eclipse content, such as learning about the Saros cycles and just how involved calculations for eclipses are!

 

Anyway, I've been reading a few things here and there about how this eclipse compared to 2017's. It seems that the corona in 2017 was fainter but more detailed, revealing greater structure in the strands and wisps emanating from the Sun. In comparison, 2024 seemed to have been a much brighter yet more uniform halo around the Sun, with finer detail and asymmetries not as easily visible. Perhaps this is a result of weather being a more troublesome factor this year, as it seems that nearly everyone but those in Maine were affected by some level of thin, high cirrus clouds which may have obscured these finer details. Another factor I've heard is that the corona is intrinsically more luminous and uniform near solar maxima. 

 

I'm honestly having trouble remembering exactly what I saw with my own eyes, but I do remember that it wasn't completely symmetric, and I was able to detect at least one meatier strand around the upper left quadrant of the Sun. For those of you who saw both eclipses, could you write about your experiences?

2017 was visibly asymmetric like a dart, both naked eye and in images. Sadly I didn't get to see 2024 due to clouds at my location. In the images I have seen, the corona is more like a chrysanthemum - a ball of petals.


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#3 Anhydrite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 06:54 PM

I saw both.

 

2017 was more visually interesting due to the long streamers and lack of corona near the solar poles.

 

2024 was more symmetrical, and the streamers were certainly harder to see and differentiate.

 

They are both amazing, and I think it comes down to personal preference as to what you prefer.

 

But yes, to your question, you can see the difference and I remember them being significantly different.  Weather had no factor in how they were looking to me.


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#4 Chris Boar

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 07:04 PM

I think the 2024 was darker than 2017?

 

I couldn't see my camera dial settings on Monday during totality. I don't remember that being an issue in 2017.


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#5 hmendres

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:18 PM

I traveled to both the 2017 and 2024 total solar eclipses.

2017 in Grand Island Nebraska was more like dusk.

2024 in Georgetown Texas was much darker! Saw Jupiter and Venus! Skies were very clear for about 15 minutes including all of totality! So magical!!
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#6 PhotogTom

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:26 PM

The comparison for me is simple - in 2017, clouds took over just prior to totality and I missed that part of the experience.

 

For 2024, I was blessed with very good skies, only a few, thin high clouds were around. They did not impair seeing much of the eclipse. it was spectacular.



#7 shakafell

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 09:19 PM

I think the 2024 was darker than 2017?

 

I couldn't see my camera dial settings on Monday during totality. I don't remember that being an issue in 2017.

 

 

I traveled to both the 2017 and 2024 total solar eclipses.

2017 in Grand Island Nebraska was more like dusk.

2024 in Georgetown Texas was much darker! Saw Jupiter and Venus! Skies were very clear for about 15 minutes including all of totality! So magical!!

Exactly the opposite for me. 2017 was almost total darkness. You could see dozens of stars. 2024 was like twilight. The horizon was still fairly bright.

 

Amazing how the same eclipse can have so much variation.



#8 Exeligmos

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:06 PM

In my experience with totality in both cases, there were some striking differences.

 

The approaching shadow

2017 - This was absolutely stunning to see for the first time. I was going into sensory overload even before the sun was gone. Right after C2, the shadow seemed to have a distinctive edge as it passed through the clear sky.

2024 - This time, the shadow was more encompassing, but the edge wasn't quite as distinct. It was still as awesome as in 2017.

So many people miss this as they spend the entire time staring through eclipse glasses.

 

The fading sun

2017 - I watched my shadow until it disappeared at C2.

2024 - It was surreal to see the sun fade out in my peripheral vision as I scanned the darkening sky and landscape. The nature of the remaining sun gave the odd impression of a confined area with an overhead lamp on a dimmer switch.

 

Initial totality

2017 - As I first looked up, I briefly saw the brilliant corona basking within a golden glow that extended several solar diameters. This was quite striking. I figure that I was seeing the combined light of the chromosphere and inner corona. I don't recall seeing the same phenomenon near C3.

2024 - I didn't see the golden glow this time, but there seemed to be a reddish aspect of the light.

 

Corona

2017 - The inner corona was a brilliant white ring (see my forum avatar to the left, which is my sketch of the 2017 eclipse). The outer corona was much fainter. With 9x63 binoculars, the three main streamers seemed to have a delicate yellow-green hue. It was unlike anything I've ever seen (now, I wonder if the color was real or an 'artifact' of my perception or expectation). I also spotted a few thin streamers above the north pole.

2024 - This time, the inner coma was more subdued. There was more of a gradual fading from the lunar edge. This is probably a function of the moon's more extensive coverage this time, and/or the outer streamers being brighter than in 2017. Overall, the corona had a neutral, ashen hue. Each streamer's appearance reminded me of the dust tail of a bright comet.

 

F corona/zodiacal light (?)

2017 - Didn't notice anything in particular. See 2024 below.

2024 - What I thought was the light of the corona illuminating the surrounding air may actually be the F corona, which is the brightest, innermost part of the zodiacal light. I haven't heard any mention of this being seen during totality. I became intrigued when my iPhone video showed double extensions of the glow that happened to align with Venus' position in the solar plane. Some other images viewed online taken from various locations seem to show this feature.

 

Chromosphere

The chromosphere was basically the same both times. I only saw it as a ruddy brightening of the inner corona near C2 and C3. I didn't dare observe it with binoculars at C3.

 

Prominences

2017 - I could not make out prominences that well at all, even with 9x63 binoculars. The big one at 3:00 appeared as a pinkish-orange smudge within the inner corona.

2024 - I saw them only with 7x50 binoculars. Wow! Initially, there were a handful of tiny but very distinct ruby-colored 'sparks' hugging the lunar rim. They were like bright purplish-red LED's or tiny-bulbed Christmas lights. The triangular loop prominence near the end of the eclipse was particularly distinctive. It was brilliant with a sharp edge.

I really don't know why prominences were so different in appearance between 2017 and 2024.

 

Diamond ring

2017 - I did not see it at all. I got skittish when the chromosphere brightening appeared.

2024 - Just wow! I saw a double diamond merge into one before I looked away.

 

Planets and stars spotted

2017 - Venus, Regulus

2024 - Venus, Jupiter


Edited by Exeligmos, 12 April 2024 - 01:18 AM.

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#9 Sly2001

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 09:42 PM

Does the color of the corona vary in different eclipses? I didn’t see 2017 in person, but some people said the corona looked silver. I saw 2024 in person, and the corona looked white, unless I’m mis-remembering.

Edited by Sly2001, 13 April 2024 - 09:45 PM.


#10 Seachange79

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 10:15 PM

Does the color of the corona vary in different eclipses? I didn’t see 2017 in person, but some people said the corona looked silver. I saw 2024 in person, and the corona looked white, unless I’m mis-remembering.


I didn't see 2017 either. 2024's corona was huge and bright and white to my vision. As the Moon moved and the lower prominences became visible naked eye, I recall a slight pinkish tone invading the inner corona near those prominences.
Other than the mind-blowing WOW factor of the entire event, the biggest thing that struck me, in regards to color, is that Venus apeared red as it became visible near the end of C1 and a little after C2, before it became its normal bright white.
Several people around me thought it was Mars at first, but I knew it was Venus, and couldn't figure out why it was red...still don't understand that one.

#11 DrkNite

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 01:01 AM

I put together 2 comparison images of the 2017 eclipse and the 2024 eclipse.  As I had only gotten images of the diamond ring in 2017 (program malfunction), I used a similar image of the diamond ring that I took in this eclipse.  Both were at C3.  Please note that the images were taken with different cameras as well as exposure settings (1/125 @f5.6 in 2017 vs. 1/60 @f11 in 2024), so they aren't exact comparisons.  Also, the purplish and semi-circular lines with color artifacts on the right side in the 2017 image can/should be ignored - they weren't visible in the eclipse.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2017-2024-comparison.jpg

Edited by DrkNite, 14 April 2024 - 01:56 AM.

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#12 Wolfwatcher

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 10:35 AM

I distinctly remember sharp-edged streamers, almost geometric, in the 2017 corona. This time those were missing for me, but the prominences grabbed my attention for the 2024 event; they are what I'll remember most, especially at 3rd contact.



#13 rainycityastro

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 02:10 PM

2017 Corona

 

36256308234_392321b84d_c.jpg

 

2024 Corona

 

53648345396_55e0e8083a_c.jpg


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