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What did you learn about this Eclipse?

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#1 Starhunter249

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 10:51 AM

I am always wanting the learn something new. Especially in the world of astronomy.

 

After viewing many excellent photos and videos that been submitted by many members I learned that your location in the path of totality has a significant effect on what you can see. I was just a mile or so north of the center line of totality. When totality occurred, there were some small prominences that can be seen on the forward direction side of the moon but after about 15 seconds or so, were no longer viewable as the moon covered them up quickly. Halfway to the end of totality, the southern side prominences lit up the eclipse brilliantly. Especially that great arcing prominence. 

 

The Astro photographers that located away from the center line of totality or even just barely outside the edge of the path, had great angles on both sides of the moon transiting the sun and they could capture shots that showed extended areas of the prominences that I couldn't view from my location. 

 

I don't know if I would trade the 4 minutes and 10 seconds of totality for better angles on the sun. I was there for both the human and the astrophotography experience. 

 

I also learned that every total eclipse is different. This was not like 2017 and I was immediately surprised by that.

 

What did you learn?


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#2 Navy Chief

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:00 AM

For those of us who missed the totality in 2017 can you elaborate on the differences?
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#3 shakafell

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:25 AM

Many photographers will go the edge line to get a better shot of baileys beads and other effects.

 

Personally I let everyone else handle the photos and I just enjoy the experience.

 

This eclipse didn't get anywhere near as dark as 2017 did for me.



#4 Starhunter249

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:25 AM

In 2017, we had the eclipse snakes, where we didn't experience that in 2024 from our location. The corona was larger and full of color in 2017. The 2017 total eclipse looked like the Eye of Sauron. A great dark pupil devoid of all light surrounded by this expansive defined brilliant orangish wispy iris. The 2024 eclipse was a very bright white dense ring but we did see those ruby red prominences that we didn't see in 2017 which was a real treat, We also saw far more stars in 2017 but I believe this time that was due to the high cirrus clouds.


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#5 Starry_Spruce

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:30 AM

I was surprised by how bright the prominences were. I don't have the best eyesight and neglected to bring glasses (did have binoculars though) so I wasn't picking out specific prominences so much... I just remembered there being lots of very bright pink. So bright I was half nervous about looking, wondering if totality was ending.

I was also surprised (despite reading about it) just how much colder it got. I was in Maine with exceptionally clear skies and snow still on the ground, so
that probably contributed.

I wasn't at 2017, but a friend who was claims the prominences were not as prominent at April 8.

Lastly, can't say I'm surprised, but amazed by how many people started packing up within SECONDS of totality being over! The lighting was still wild.
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#6 tommyboy

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:31 AM

I learned, or rather had verified my belief that we live on a magical world.


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#7 cee_dee.exe

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:33 AM

I learned that it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in the sky, and perhaps the most beautiful thing I've seen, period. I don't think I've ever been so bowled over with awe before.

 

I also learned basic facts about eclipses in a booklet that came with my eclipse glasses, since this was my first (and perhaps only) one, and I'm not an astrophotographer, just visual. Mostly how rare they are to cross any given point on Earth (meaning how rare it was for it to happen within a six hour drive of my home), how little of the Earth's surface the shadow covers, how fast the shadow moves.

 

But I guess I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of it, the serious emotional response I had, that I couldn't truly "process" differences, and I didn't quite know differences. Although I learned today that the shadow can vary in size and duration of totality among different eclipses, and this seems like it was a good one.

 

I did see some red solar prominences toward the southern side of the moon - little red bumps. Didn't expect those, and I learned what those are today. I noticed how the corona didn't immediately vanish when the diamond ring phase came in - I could still see a bit of it for a few seconds against the returning blue sky.

 

The planets, I didn't quite expect that, although I had wondered the night before the eclipse if you could possibly see stars. The planets were so sharp and clear along the ecliptic, quite a sight.

 

An eerie but fascinating effect was how faint the sunlight became as totality approached, and how it got cold. The warmth of the sunlight vanished. Winds stopped, everything got quiet. Nice buildup to the big moment. I knew it would get colder, but the dimming, cold light was dramatic as well.

 

Anyway, those aren't differences per se, but just what I learned, felt, and discovered!


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#8 bookemdano

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:56 AM

I consider myself lucky to have seen the 2017 TSE at all, due to lots of low/mid/high clouds at my location (and even that was a 2 hour drive away from even cloudier skies). Thankfully the entirety of totality was visible, albeit through high clouds, and I think the cloud cover diffused the corona to the point where I don't recall it having much structure.

 

This one was basically entirely clear where I was. To my eye, the corona had more definition, even if it didn't have as much asymmetry (due to us being close to solar maximum vs. solar minimum in 2017).

 

But as almost everyone else has said, the biggest difference to me this time were seeing prominences with my naked eyes. That was such a surprise, and is definitely the aspect of this TSE I will most remember. The big one at the 6 o'clock position was especially stunning. Pictures are great because they can show the structure of the prominences and how red they are. But they do not even begin to capture how intensely bright they are. That largest prominence looked like a brilliant red star perched on the southern edge of the moon. I will forget the exact structure of this corona, but I will never forget that red "spark".

 

There were of course a couple of prominences in 2017 (my terrible telescope pics captured 'em), but at least in my location viewing through clouds they were definitely not naked-eye visible.

 

Also, I wasn't able to see Regulus in 2017 (again, due to the thicker clouds around). Saw no stars this time either, but Jupiter and especially Venus were bright and easy to spot along the ecliptic. 


Edited by bookemdano, 11 April 2024 - 12:01 PM.

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#9 TrailExplorer

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 07:23 PM

I developed a greater respect for ancient peoples who were frightened by eclipses. It was such an otherworldly experience, that even with the fully fleshed out knowledge of what was happening and why it was happening, the changes in the light even during C1 were spooky. I distinctly felt an instinctual anxiety in the minutes leading up to totality, from the strange lighting effects and oncoming darkness in the distance. I think my subconscious brain interpreted it like it was a big thunderstorm approaching quickly. Now imagine you had no idea what was happening!


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#10 StanH

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:18 PM

After all these years, I thought flares and prominences were simply two aspects of the same phenomenon.  Prominences were arc-shaped with both ends on the surface.  Flares were the same thing though they only went straight.  Apparently, everything I saw along the edge of the sun were prominences even though some appeared going straight out.  As earlier posters also mentioned, seeing a prominence unaided during totality was not expected.


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#11 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 09:31 PM

That astronomy weather forecast apps are as reliable as a horoscope or tarot cards !
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#12 DrkNite

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 12:21 AM

I found that UV light diminishes as well as visible light (understandably).  I have a camera to telescope adapter that I 3D printed a number of years ago, with filament that is UV light sensitive.  It turns various shades of purple depending on the strength of the UV light.  While in the partial phase leading up to C2, it was indicating UV light with a fairly significant color change.  At about 2 minutes before totality, it faded back to almost it's base color, with just a slight hint of purple.


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#13 Wolfwatcher

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 02:06 AM

I enjoy reading all of the comments here. I too saw the 2017 eclipse, so agree with some of the comparisons mentioned. Like StanH, I had the feeling a storm was approaching (like a front quickly moving in). It was spooky, for sure.

 

I will mention one equipment surprise I had. I had planned to bring a scope with a white light filter, just as I had used in 2017. But I do own a SolarMax 40 H-Alpha, so at the last minute decided to bring it instead. I'm so happy I did! I did not think it would show anything at all during totality, but thought it would be great for the partial eclipse phases. But because of those wonderful prominences, the scope turned out to be perfect. Watching the third contact happen when the sun reemerged was stunning. Brilliant white and dazzling ruby red lights on the southern limb of the sun. Just blew me away. But even binoculars with white light filters also proved highly rewarding, as my wife and I moved from naked eye, to scope, to binocs to take it all in, even though we both thought it went by too fast!

 

One more thing: In Plattsburgh where we were, there were high, thin clouds. I thought they would interfere with viewing. They did not so far as the sun itself and totality, or seeing the planets. The corona was bright and clear, though it lacked the sharp geometric patterns of 2017, which may or may not have been due to the clouds this time. But I learned that a few clouds, for visual purposes, do not alter the experience. It was just as spectacular as the first time against blue skies.


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#14 MDT

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 07:33 AM

I saw and photographed the 2017 Total Eclipse from Dubois Wyoming.  I think the biggest difference for me was altitude. The sky was very clear. Also I had more open space around me so I got to experience more of the 360 degree twilight. Also in Wyoming the temperature dropped from 98 degrees to 50 degrees in 2 1/2 minutes. In Makanda Illinois it dropped 23 degrees in 4 minutes. 
HOWEVER:  I was photographing through a tracking telescope which demanded all of my attention. 
This time I used a Panasonic ZS-70 snap and shoot camera. I got acceptable results and I could experience the events around me. 
Maybe because I had 4 minutes this time, maybe because I knew what I missed last time,…

I am glad I drove 1000 miles to see another TSE. Both were different. Both were amazing. 
Michael 


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#15 cee_dee.exe

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 09:17 AM

I learned, or rather had verified my belief that we live on a magical world.

This is exactly the feeling. And it's powerful that so many of us experienced it all at once.


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#16 kfiscus

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 04:48 PM

I've learned two things from this one, so far.  (I keep learning more reading CN threads.)

 

I learned that some people noticed the ground was lit with a faint pink glow from that killer prominence.  I wish I had noticed it myself.

 

I also learned how dramatically the diamond ring's position shifted relative to that prominence based on the viewer's location.


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#17 Cajundaddy

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 08:45 AM

-I learned that cloud forecasts are very unreliable even 24 hours ahead during spring in Texas.  I probably should have known this already as Texas weather can be highly variable in April being in a convergence zone  influenced by prevailing westerlies, northern cold fronts, and tropical disturbances moving up from the gulf.  As a result we saw a lot of moving clouds passing by with the eclipse clearly visible in the breaks.

- Because of the clouds and the larger shadow this one seemed much darker to me than either 2017 or 1999.  As the shadow approached from the south it was quite intense.  When a large thick cloud obscured totality it became as black as night.

- An eclipse through passing clouds changes my focus from the outer corona to the very visible and bright prominences during a highly active sun.  We could not see faint outer effects or other planets but the prominences really stood out and were the star of the show at our location.   

Every eclipse experience is quite different and that is what keeps me coming back.  


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#18 sgopal2

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 11:55 AM

I learned that most people don't really understand the fuss over a total solar eclipse (and get confused about partial). I was in Dallas and struck up a conversation with the people in the rental car office. Most were surprised that people would travel just to watch it. But Dallas had a huge influx of people so it was a boon for the local economy (even though for a few days).



#19 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 12:12 PM

I may sound like I was born centuries ago, but, to me, watching totality naked eye was my best astronomical experience ever.

Nothing compares to the eerie landscape during those few minutes of "night that is not a night and day that is not a day", the ghostly corona, the 360° sunset, shadows and cold breeze right before darkness, Baily beads, the diamond ring, those bright magenta dots on the Sun limb.

Just awesome, and I'm using the H.P. Lovecraft sense of "awe".

 

I'd gladly live it again !


Edited by Sebastian_Sajaroff, 15 April 2024 - 02:32 PM.

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#20 bunyon

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 12:18 PM

I think cloud forecasts in general are both tough and not usually very important. People want to know if they need a coat or umbrella. Will there be a storm? Cloud cover is not very important to most people.

 

As it is, I think the forecasts were pretty good. There was a big band of cloud running almost parallel to the path of totality. It cleared for many, but not all. Just as they forecast.

 

No forecast, in any field, is ever 100%.


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#21 Starhunter249

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 01:10 PM

I also learned that stacking lots of images doesn't improve detail on the eclipse, particularly prominences. I find my best shots are single frames or low frame stacks. The moon is moving very fast at 37.5 X magnification. Anything above 30 frames, which is one second of time in my case, starts to degrade the total image. I tried a 10 second and then 5 second stack 2 50 percent of best frames and was less impressed with the outcome than not stacking.



#22 winstar

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 04:38 PM

I learned that I enjoy outreach during a TSE more than I thought I would, and that I should just plan on that happening to some degree.
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