Tag Archives: eclipse

The Eclipse

The eclipse approaching totality

Just arrived at Glacier, where the internet access is bad, and there is no cell service. Thus, this might be my last post for the week. I will try to post in the evening, but this is a vacation, so it will not be my first priority. If I could do it in my room that would okay, but I have to go down to the lobby of the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Anyway the image to the right was taken by me by holding my hand filter out at arm’s length, blocking the sun, and snapping a picture with my camera. It came out far better than I expected, as you can actually see the sun in the filter, partly blocked.

Totality was amazing. I was amazed by two things. First, how quiet it became. There were about hundred people scattered about the hotel lawn, with dogs and kids playing around. The hotel manager’s husband set up speakers for music and to make announcements, but when totality arrived he played nothing. People stopped talking. A hush fell over everything. Moreover, I think we somehow imagine a subconscious roar from the full sun. Covered as it was, with its soft corona gleaming gently around it, it suddenly seemed still.

Secondly, the amazing unlikeliness of the Moon being at just the right distance and size to periodically cause this event seemed almost miraculous. Watching it happen drove this point home to me. And since eclipses themselves have been a critical event in the intellectual development of humanity, helping to drive learning and our understanding of the universe, it truly makes me wonder at the majesty of it. I do not believe in any particular religion or their rituals (though I consider the Bible, the Old Testament especially, to be a very good manual for creating a good life and society), but I do not deny the existence of a higher power. Something made this place, and set it up in this wonderous way. Today’s eclipse only served to demonstrate this fact to me again.

Posting will be light for the rest of the week. If I get a chance I will add some more pictures to this post tomorrow.
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To protect students from eclipse some schools will close Monday, or will keep their students indoors

The coming dark age: Fearful of the thunder gods, some school administrators have decided to close their schools or to keep their students indoors so they can’t see the eclipse on Monday.

CBS Miami reports some local schools in South Florida are giving kids an excused absence or even the day off to enjoy the eclipse, while others have decided to keep students inside for their safety.

The Scottsdale Unified School District in Arizona decided it was just too dangerous to let kids view the eclipse, especially after some reports of fake eclipse glasses on the market that might put eyes at risk, CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO reports. “So without us being able to control the equipment that’s being used, if it’s donated or something, and also when you’re talking about a large amount of children it’s also very difficult to convince all of the kids to not look up. That’s not to say our kids won’t be very well behaved but if there’s even a question that there could be something unsafe, Scottsdale’s not going to take the chance,” said Erin Helm with Scottsdale Unified.

The quote is from the second link above. The first link describes the decision of Ohio schools to close.

It is horrifying that there are school officials out there who would actually act to prevent children from experiencing the eclipse out of fear. Kids are smart enough to know not to look at the Sun, if you tell them not to. And it is the responsibility of the school to provide them the right kinds of eclipse glasses, which do not cost a lot and can easily be purchased.

In fact, it is revealing that the schools doing this are all public schools, and thus provides more evidence that the public schools might be the worst place to send kids to get educated.

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Amazon refunding customers who bought fake eclipse glasses

Amazon is issuing refunds to any customers who bought fake eclipse glasses through the site.

It is essential for people who are going to view the eclipse to understand that as long as the Sun is even partially visible, even by a sliver, it can cause significant eye damage if viewed without proper protection. Make sure your eclipse glasses or filters are safe! And remember, only during the short 2 minute or so totality that will occur in the narrow strip across the country will it be safe to look at the Sun without protection. Even so, you must do so with great caution so that you don’t mistakenly view the Sun unprotected when it is partially exposed.

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Government officials expect disaster during eclipse

We’re all gonna die! According to this trashy Newsweek article, government officials are expecting disaster and societal collapse because a lot of people are going to travel to see the August 21 eclipse.

Here’s why many folks are planning for a disaster: Oregon has a population of 4 million people, and the eclipse is expected to draw 1 million visitors to the state for a few days. In Missouri, preparations resemble that for a blizzard or “everything from St. Patrick’s Day parade to a World Series celebration,” says Chris Hernandez, city spokesman for Kansas City, Missouri, one of the larger metro areas in the path of the eclipse.

All of those visitors are expected to clog interstates, along with state and local roads, for days before and after the eclipse, much like the rush during emergency evacuations, says Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the American Red Cross. “Some of these places are never going to see traffic like this,” he says. In some areas, “the population will be double or triple.”

Once visitors arrive, they’ll need bottles of water, lodging and restrooms. And, of course, solar glasses.

This fear-mongering reminds me of the Y2K bug. Somehow it was going to shut down society, something I thought was a load of hooey, and turned out to be exactly that, hooey. This Newsweek junk article is just more of the same.

Be prepared, exercise personal responsibility, and all will be well. The only ones who will have a problem will be people who take these articles too seriously.

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An asteroid will eclipse the bright naked eye star Regulus for 14 seconds on March 19-20, and everyone in the New York City metropolitan area will be able to watch.

An asteroid will eclipse the bright naked eye star Regulus for 14 seconds on March 19-20, and everyone in the New York City metropolitan area will be able to watch.

Late on the night of March 19–20, the faint asteroid Erigone (eh-RIG-uh-nee) will briefly eclipse the bright naked-eye star Regulus for more than 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area and parts of Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, upstate New York, and Ontario. The star will vanish from sight for up to 14 seconds around 2:06 a.m. EDT on the morning of the 20th for New Yorkers, and a minute or two later farther north.

If the sky is clear, Regulus will be a cinch for anyone to spot — no astronomy experience required! Around 2 a.m. or a bit before, go out and face the Moon. Extend your arms straight out to your sides. Regulus will be straight above your right hand, roughly as high as the Moon is. It’s the brightest star in that area.

Scientists are also asking ordinary citizens to help gather data, which if sufficient will allow them to recreate a reasonably accurate silhouette of the asteroid, thus determining its size and shape.

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