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Side note - you didn't have to be in a big crowd to catch the eclipse. Wags and Marko, as noted in their OR's here, were around Salem, in family groups. Our buddies Jimmy and Val (non-TACos) camped along a forest road out of Marion Forks, on the west ridge of the Cascades, with 4 other people. Charlie and Susan Wicks camped north of Mitchell, Oregon, some 40 miles from Prineville, in a valley with maybe 20 other folks.
Meanwhile in Madras there were >20,000 people at Solarfest, and in the Ochoco NE of Prineville there were way >30,000 at Moonshadow.
Apparently there are those among us who like crowds.
Observing Reports / Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
« Last post by DDK on Yesterday at 06:12:12 PM »
Found a good peaceful spot well within the totality band, a wide double turnout on hwy 26 NW of Prineville, just on the south edge of the Crooked River Nat'l Grasslands. Good for 1:30 of totality. At 7 am there was me and a young woman who'd slept in her car; there were around 20 of us there by the time things got serious.

Serious indeed. I'm still soaking in what I saw. Rozerman wrote up a succinct report, which more or less captures what I saw - "Temperature drop of 20 degrees. High contrast double shadows of everything. Twisted asymetric Corona. Two naked eye prominences at 12:00 and 3:00. Brilliant diamond ring at 3rd contact."

There were those cool sun crescents all under the trees, those I'd seen before. And like a lot of us, I've read a lot about total solar eclipses all my life. Cripes, the first time I heard about this 2017 eclipse, I was just around 6, 60 years ago!

It did get chilly, I went and put a hoodie on. We were on a rise, so as totality approached, we could see the big shadow of the Moon swoop up along the grasslands from the west. Fwoo. That I'd been told to expect.

But when that last thin stripe of the Sun disappeared, I was completely caught off guard. Instead of that bright Sun that's there even in a big partial, there was a very black round disk where the Sun had just been. Searched for a full day afterward for a descriptor, came up with "fucking arcane." Not believable.

What I saw was a corona close around the Sun, with several spikes at different angles that looked like broad-based diffraction spikes in a telescope. No wonder it got named "crown." Like Wagner, I did note that there weren't the spread-out wings that show in some totals. Off the eastern edge, I did see one extended piece of corona that shimmered.

There was a brilliant prominence at 3 o'clock, that was garnet-colored! And there was another one to 1 o'clock. Those would have been at around 210 and 280 degrees on the sky. And the Sun first reappeared in a very bright point, what Rozer named as that brilliant diamond ring at 3rd contact.

When I first learned, swear 60 years ago, that the next total eclipse in our part of the world would be in 2017, that was scifi future, colonies on the Moon, flying cars. I do remember deciding at the time that I might not have to memorize the date, it might come up.

Like Rozer, I'm glad this is finally done with. Still, it was so completely worth the trip. Thoroughly unforgettable.
Observing Reports / Re: IN THE MOON'S SHADOW
« Last post by DDK on Yesterday at 05:06:37 PM »
You'd asked where I'd been, somehow knew I missed something. I stayed over in Prineville, just NE of Bend. The day before I'd scouted out a wide double turnout 8 miles NW of town, at the south edge of the Crooked River National Grasslands. 1'30" of totality, and I skipped all those writhing hordes in Madras (>20,000) just to the NW and the Ochoco Nat'l Forest to the NE (way >30,000). Don't like crowds.

A couple guys in a big orange truck were at that turnout all week, from the Oregon Dept of Transportation, Mike and Jim. Very good guys; their assignment was to cover that area for 5 days just to help travelers. And as it turned out, there were some 20 of us at that spot at 1020 on Monday. Congenial bunch.
Thanks for asking! I'll post my own OR next, just you wait and see.
Observing Reports / Re: IN THE MOON'S SHADOW
« Last post by Mark on Yesterday at 02:41:32 PM »
Interesting.  For me, the show was at 2nd contact.  Looked like a shock wave explosion moving away from the black disk, with spikes inbedded.  That is an *impression* - it all happened so fast and unexpectedly.  When fully eclipsed, the corona was twisted, for sure.  It just wasn't as big or well defined (internally) as I thought it might have been.  Temps, yes, chilly.  Shadows, really weird.  Color of sky around during Diamond Ring was eerie and amazing - odd blue.  Shadowy horizons were almost opaque with dim haze.  Whatever things were, I got my money's worth.  Mind-boggling.  Where did you go to see it?
Observing Reports / Re: IN THE MOON'S SHADOW
« Last post by DDK on Yesterday at 01:45:30 PM »
First time I've seen one of these, but sure have read about them a lot. The corona varies a lot according to what the Sun is doing, and how close the Moon is to us. Those spikes that looked like diffraction spikes coming off the Sun during totality, that was the corona.

Rozerman posted a brief and pithy OR, "Temperature drop of 20 degrees. High contrast double shadows of everything. Twisted asymetric Corona. Two naked eye prominences at 12:00 and 3:00. Brilliant diamond ring at 3rd contact."
Observing Reports / Re: IN THE MOON'S SHADOW
« Last post by Mark on August 22, 2017, 10:30:16 PM »
I did see the Corona, during full totality, but didn't descibe it as it was tenuous and not the most amazing feature at totality.  I expected more streamers, and for it to be larger.  I'd estimate, from memory, it extended about 1x the solar diameter away from the black disk.  I don't think I've seen those prominences in photos yet....  the "Bailey's Beads" I saw were nearly concurrent with the Diamond Ring, maybe slightly after.  But then, having never seen a total eclipse before, I'm not experienced at this.

Where were you observe totality from?
Observing Reports / Re: IN THE MOON'S SHADOW
« Last post by DDK on August 22, 2017, 07:46:02 PM »
What you saw, Wags, was even more awesome than your description. The diamond ring and Bailey's Beads are what you see just as at the very beginning and end of totality, full sunlight peeking around mountains and craters on the Moon.

Your Diamond Ring was the solar corona, its outer atmosphere that we can only see during an eclipse. What you called Bailey's Beads were two bright prominences!
Observing Reports / IN THE MOON'S SHADOW
« Last post by Mark on August 22, 2017, 12:39:16 PM »
There is no way to describe this. But, a scene in Carl Sagan's Cosmos, where Ellie sees a galaxy up close from the outside, and says, in rapture: "no words, no words…. they should have sent a poet" gets there. Good old Carl, a way with words (and science).

I joined a group of eclipse-goers in Oregon, on the Calpooia River south of Salem. Hosted by friends of Max Vanderwyst, childhood friend of my son-in-law and his family, this was an intimate group in a friendly, relaxed environment. Pleasant shade camping, next to the river with nice swimming holes.

But this is about the eclipse.

Once the temperature changed noticeably, we all went out to a huge field next to the property. We watched as the Dragon ate the Sun, taking an ever larger bite, while the temperature continued dropping. A hot day now was chilly enough I had some shivers. The horizons took on an eerie opalescent hazy glow. Birds in trees began chattering. Nearly all traffic on the nearby road stopped. The only real sounds were of excited children in our group.

Excitement grew as the last tiny sliver sat, for what seemed almost tantalizingly long. Then darkness.
Off came the solar glasses. Things happened so fast, so fast I could hardly think of what to so. I stood there, as the black disk of the moon hid all but some bright glow… then… then…

The Diamond Ring sprang outward from the trailing edge of the Moon. The sky was a strange almost muted turquoise blue. The Sun, the Diamond, was a brilliant creamy bulge on the side of the Black. Rays emanated from it. The edges of the Black were ringed by a bright glow. Up near the Diamond, Bailey's Beads showed as small, what I would call glowing lumps of red lava, points of light, arcing up around the northern edge of the Black.

People were screaming. Jumping. Crying. Standing agape in amazement. The children were holding each other jumping up and down, 7 year olds and younger yelling "this is awesome!!!"…. what a sight of humanity in sheer awe. My daughter in tears.
I stood, mouth open, dumbfounded, thinking of Sagan. No words… no words.

It passed so quickly. But that's life, isn't it? A spectacular moment. No amount of reading, or hearing people's descriptions, and certainly not this one, can touch what occurred. Its like describing God. You can't. You're not that.

What were the best parts of being in the Moon's Shadow? The Diamond Ring is awesome. Way more than awesome. It is other-worldly. Like the Sun disappeared and a brilliant space ship arrived, glowing off one side.

Its described as spiritual, transcendent, and yes, I have to agree. I've seen and experienced something I'll never forget (the first time is always memorable), and I did it with my pregnant daughter, her husband and his family, and many new friends who shared something that words can't touch. "They should have sent a poet." The kids will be talking about this in the year 2100....

Texas, 2024. Plans already made…..
Observing Reports / Eclipse 2017 from just north of Salem Oregon
« Last post by Marko on August 21, 2017, 10:42:04 PM »
Have had a wonderful visit with my brother inlaw and his sister (my wife of course).
Have been all about to many great places and today was our main course, the eclipse.

Having zero experience unlike many other TACos I will say that it has been an unforgetable experience to be remembered due to it is so unlike our normal experiences and I suspect there is some primal wonder having to do with our sun and what is 'normal' for it perhaps.

Viewed just north of Salem with a clear sky that I suspect had some smoke but it was not something that one could detect easily if at all when looking up where the sun was placed. Traffic in getting there was quite easy starting at 5:30am from 5 miles south of Portland to site by 6:30  but the way back had several accidents from extra eclipse crowd so delayed 1.5 hours longer than un-cluttered.

I had setup a small scope to be a sort of projector onto a tripod holding a flat white stiff board.  This made us rather popular at this site where we had maybe 15 onlookers at this simple rig.  There were perhaps 30 cars on a great big field where it was $10 per person for a ticket to Antique Powerland AND we got admission to see old steam engines and machines included.   The optics of my 'projector' were not offering a crisp telescopic view but one could see the 3 sunspots well into the disk and lots of people were taking pics of the 3" dia image of the sun prior to totality (nothing on this in totality as all eyes were to the sky and loads of 'oohs' and 'ahhs' and claping in totality.

Here are the distinct things that make this unique in my book
- The darkening of the sky was extremely gradual as it is with partial eclipse then within a minute of totality you could detect the darkening at a very quick rate.
- It got colder with no sun as the sun became a thin sliver.  This is of course obvious but I had not thought about it before.
- In totality the direct vision of the eclipse was not easily explained but was just like the photos one sees with a great deal of corona radiating outward from a very thin but crisp ring with black in the middle.  What was spectacular was the dynamic range of dark to light which was shocking because much like viewing the double double in a telescope the great range of light to dark in a bright cluster is more spectacular at the eyepiece  than on any  picture or monitor since a picture or monitor image  cannot replicate the real optical range of brightness our eyes can appreciate.
- Rather by accident we saw the smaller spots of light shining through a tree onto our dark car prior to and after totality made each spot of light into a crescent.  That was rather cool and again, not expected.
- The sky was not as dark as I had thought it would be
- It was over so fast I never got to looking for the planets or even Orion which I thought would be nice.   Lol.

Unforgetable just the same.

I kept this a fully visual experience and tried to soak it all in best I could as the time in totality flies by far faster than you would like it to last.

I thank Joe-Bob and James (T) and several others for giving me a nudge to do this trip as it is about as easy of a trip that can be done for an eclipse plus have a great visit with brother in law.
Observing Reports / Re: The partial eclipse from Palo Alto
« Last post by gparker on August 21, 2017, 08:14:00 PM »
I set up around 9:30 outside my workplace at Cupertino City Center. 80mm Stellarvue refractor and a 25mm plossl eyepiece, using eyepiece projection to display a bright 6" image. A few minutes later a co-worker arrived with a small reflector and a front filter. Other spectators brought assorted pinhole cameras and filter glasses. At peak eclipse time we had a crowd of about 200 people. A few dozen viewers saw the first sunspots reappear from behind the shadow, and a handful saw the last seconds of contact tick away.

Not a bad result for a rig that I cobbled together the day before. I had a few hours to test so I was pretty sure that nothing would overheat. I was willing to sacrifice the eyepiece if necessary. In the end I couldn't feel any heat buildup anywhere. My drive battery didn't work on site for some reason, but the eyepiece was low power so nudging the telescope every few minutes was feasible.

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