The Astronomy Connection

San Francisco Bay Area Astronomy => Observing Reports => Topic started by: DDK on August 23, 2017, 06:12:12 PM

Title: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: DDK on August 23, 2017, 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.
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: DDK on August 24, 2017, 01:42:11 AM
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.
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: DDK on August 26, 2017, 04:20:35 PM
If you want to see some cool pics from out in the woods during that eclipse binge, Charlie Wicks, our own Potentate, with Susan and the dogs and a compact set of other people, were in the country out of Mitchell, Oregon. Photos on Facebook. Also, on FB, Mars Herself posted a nice set of pictures of the Quality from the East Bay club, also in the boonies near Mitchell. Jane Smith and Rozerman are in those photos.
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: John Pierce on September 09, 2017, 11:20:22 AM
there may have been 20K people at the SolarFest, but where we were at the RV park in the corner of the fairgrounds, there was at most a few 100 people scattered about a large lawn, it wasn't bad at all.   a whole bunch of them closest to me were fellow SCAC members, so even better.    Some wag in the back corner of the lawn broke out a trumpet and played the opening lines of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" just as totality was beginning, thankfully he was a skillful trumpet player.

We arrived there Thursday, well before any traffic, and left Tuesday... the worst traffic was going into Portland to drop someone off at the train station, AFAIK, this was typical Tuesday mid day traffic.
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: DDK on September 09, 2017, 06:47:01 PM
John, I saw your video of your group during totality. Did look pretty relaxed, with no jostling, except for you asking for a turn at your refractor right mid-totality.
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: John Pierce on September 09, 2017, 08:47:13 PM
that was prearranged, deal was my wife Ruth got the first minute at the big binos, I got the 2nd minute so I could be there to replace the solar filter as totallity ended.  worked out great.

with the 14mm 82deg wide ES eyepieces, those binos are 42x with a 2 degree FOV.  and the 100mm f/6 binos are ED/APO, and give really good sharp fields edge to edge, without any noticable chromatic abberation.   the corona and prominences were stunning, as was the re-appearance of the eedge of the chromosphere just as totality ends.   when the 'diamond ring' first started to flare up, I scrambled for the filter and popped it back on, and boom.

fastest 2 minutes of my life :-o

oh, for those interested, here's said video of me making a fool of myself with my half minute too fast eclipse timer :-/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGHsoxOaeG0
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: Brad on September 12, 2017, 02:53:41 PM
Nice!

I'd love to see the facebook photos from the East Bay group near Mitchell, but don't have facebook. Anyone have a link? I ran into a couple from that group the day after at the Painted Hills National Monument.
Title: Re: Eclipse from the Crooked River National Grasslands, Oregon
Post by: DDK on September 18, 2017, 06:47:13 PM
Hey Brad. There were two groups of our co-conspirators near Mitchell. Charlie and Susan Wicks and their dogs and a compact bunch of other people found a lovely place right near Mitchell. And the EBAS gang, Rozerman included, were camping in another spot near there - Mars posted those pictures (you'll remember Marsha Robinson). Both those photo sets are on FB. So it won't kill you, join FB and befriend Charlie and Mars.