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Thread: Eclipse: How will you spend the 140 or so seconds of totality?

  1. #1
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    Eclipse: How will you spend the 140 or so seconds of totality?

    That's not a lot of time, so I think it would be good to plan out exactly what to do. Hopefully I will be somehwhere overlooking a valley. A minute or two before totality, I will turn on a video camera showing the valley as it darkens. As totality starts, I'm going to set an alarm that will go off about 20 seconds before totality ends. Then I will just look at the eclipse for a moment. Then I take a couple of pictures with my phone and with a point and shoot camera. If I think it is safe, I will take out my 12x binoculars and see the corona and hopefully a prominence or two (that's why I'm going to set the alarm at the start of totality). Then I will try to find all of the planets that are suddenly visibile. Hopefully that will take no more than a minute. The rest of the time, I will just repeat whatever of these items that I found most worthwhile. At the end, I may take a video of the final moments of totality with an old pocket camera. I won't be looking through the view finder, and it's an old camera, so if I ruin it, so be it, but it would be neat to get a video of the string of pearls. After that, my son and I plan to celebrate with a bottle of Corona.

  2. #2
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    Hopefully you won't need the extra step of driving through a few thousand new friends to get to your spot. That's something we're expecting as we drive north about two hours from Atlanta to a school which is opening its athletic fields for viewing. The school is also providing food trucks.

    I'll have at least three Apple cameras, one Nikon point and shoot, a 10-inch telescope and a pair of binocs. The scope is largely for direct observing up to and past totality (filtered, of course) but I may remove the filter at totality and take a photo or two; that said, I'm still debating whether to do this. The binocs are only for totality.

    Like you, I plan to set an alarm when totality starts.

    I also plan to try to grab video of shadow bands.

    Think I'll save the Corona for when we get back home. I'll likely need it by then.

  3. #3
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    I'm still looking at the weather maps. We will probably leave Saturday morning from Philadelphia and head southwest to Kentucky or Tennessee, although we should have time to make it to the Midwest if necessary.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    I'm still looking at the weather maps. We will probably leave Saturday morning from Philadelphia and head southwest to Kentucky or Tennessee, although we should have time to make it to the Midwest if necessary.
    I hear traffic will be crazy. You might want to add some buffer time.



    https://xkcd.com/1876/

  5. #5
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    My plan is to squeeze of a few bracketed shots for half a minute or so and then enjoy the rest of the spectacle visually.

  6. #6
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    Pretty much like the last 3 totalities, stand there with jaw dropped.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Pretty much like the last 3 totalities, stand there with jaw dropped.
    I'm thinking about doing the same. Maybe try taking a picture or two during totality. There will be plenty of people taking pictures and videos of the event. Much better than I ever could with my lousy camera. I might try a simple pin hole device to see how well that works. But for the most part I'll just be enjoying the show.
    Last edited by DaCaptain; 2017-Aug-18 at 11:57 AM.
    I know that I know nothing, so I question everything. - Socrates/Descartes

  8. #8
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    As it turns out our selected viewing location won't allow me to bring in my Dobsonion. I took it as an omen - simpler is better.

  9. #9
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    Crying because I'll be in Nebraska under a thunderstorm, and will only see 90 seconds of it getting a bit darker.

  10. #10
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    I'll either be in a hotel parking lot or at my cousin's house in Portland, enjoying the 99%+ totality and not being in the traffic heading south. I do have a camera filter...I wonder if I should try to film it or just take a still or three.

    Speaking of traffic...there was a flurry of reports on Facebook (of course) and the news yesterday about the massive eclipse traffic jam in central Oregon yesterday. Turns out there was a music festival that was having delays at their entrance gate and cars backed up a couple of miles.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #11
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    Enjoyed my one and only total eclipse way back in 1996. It was on Turtle island - an hour by boat from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.

    In the morning of the eclipse was up early and at the jetty to get the boat to the island. On the way we (my wife and I) enjoyed seeing the sun being "eaten" up by the moon. I had acquired the glasses to protect the eye so we could see the moon creeping into the sun. When we arrived at Turtle island the were lots of people at the center of the island (the island being only a kilometer in diameter}. There were lots of telescopes set up and you could feel the excitement in the air.

    As the time for total eclipse approached my wife and I decided to walk to the beach. We were fortunate to find one that was deserted except for the birds chattering among themselves. Then as the moment for total eclipse approached, the chattering of the birds got less until at total eclipse it stopped completely. Just before the total eclipse we were looking towards the sun. Then we saw the diamond ring. It only lasted very briefly, but please do not miss the opportunity to see it. With the total eclipse came a drop in temperature and total silence (only broken by the gentle waves braking on the shore and the wind blowing through the coconut trees).

    Then as the total eclipse ended we had another view of the diamond ring and the birds coming alive once more. Then it was back to the jetty to catch the boat back to our hotel at Sandakan. The actual experience was very short but it is something I am glad that I made the effort to go see.

  12. #12
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    Wishing I lived 650 miles farther south.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Pretty much like the last 3 totalities, stand there with jaw dropped.
    Dead jealous Haven't seen one yet, but been on the bucket list for ages.

    So tomorrow's the day ! Coming from Brisbane, we've timed our holiday to be staying with friends in Kansas City right now, and tomorrow we're setting off early (I mean EARLY ! ) to St Joseph's, Missouri. How I spend it will probably depend on how many clouds around (thunderstorm's at 2 pm, but ah well), but basically lots of photos for the first 30-seconds to a minute (including a panorama), then enjoy and be IN the experience Also if cloud-free, laying out the white sheet to see if I can catch the ShadowBands before/after totality.

    FWIW, for those setting timers, I've picked up a (paid) app "Solar Eclipse Timer" that picks up your GPS location, and "talks" you through the main time-events through the eclipse.

  14. #14
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    One thing that I thought was totally cool was being able to see the shadow of the moon progress across the landscape. We were on a small rise and could see a bit off into the distance. It was like that of a cloud but much faster, a little bit curved, and from horizon to horizon.
    I know that I know nothing, so I question everything. - Socrates/Descartes

  15. #15
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    It's really hard to try and catch sight of the shadow bands, the approaching moon shadow, the diamond ring, Baily's Beads, etc., gotta be on the ball while you're celebrating the awe of it all.

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