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Messages - DDK

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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.

Equipment Discussions / Re: Cell Phone Supplier Choices
« on: September 13, 2017, 02:26:49 PM »
Both years, AT&T worked for phone, texts and simple web access, just fine. At Lake San Antonio, to get a cell signal with AT&T, I had to go over to the visitor center and bask in their signal.

Annual Star Parties / Re: CalStar is 6 weeks away!
« on: September 11, 2017, 01:17:16 PM »
That one I can answer, Stephen. Good water, tastes good. They have a generous well and a well-designed system.

Showers, flush toilets as well. Luuuuxury.

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.

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.

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.

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
« on: August 23, 2017, 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
« on: August 23, 2017, 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
« 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 Intents / Re: Eclipse 2017: Planets in a row for eclipse
« on: August 21, 2017, 06:34:22 AM »
That's thoughtful, Marko. I'll be looking!

Observing Reports / Re: Speaking of subtle...
« on: July 27, 2017, 01:41:06 PM »
Phoo, McCarthy et al, I didn't pass along the link for that list. It's still archived at

One of the most fun observing lists around, on purpose! Made with the same philosophy as Steve's DeepMap - these better look good.

Observing Reports / Re: Speaking of subtle...
« on: July 26, 2017, 11:00:16 PM »
McCarthy, have you gone thru the TAC Eye Candy List? Compilation of the RASC, Saguaro and Caron lists, plus some extra goodies thrown in. The whole selection is eyepiece-based.

Might just be time for an intervention, buddy.

TAC Visual / Re: An observation about observation.
« on: July 26, 2017, 03:19:37 PM »
Yup, look at the OI's and esp the OR's here, I've been shamelessly proselytizing the Pinnacles thru this last calendar year. You can see why. Still do hit the Peak frequently, and sure Dino in the winter, but the Pinnacles are one more excellent option we have. At this point I've lost count of how many times I've been observing at Pinnacles over the years. The site doesn't have the Peak's laminar flow magic that makes for 5/5 seeing time after time, but as you can see it's highly dark there. Even darker on the east side, for when you're feeling greedy.

Observing Reports / Re: Pinnacles West with SCAC
« on: July 24, 2017, 01:38:29 PM »
At 10 pm you were ten minutes before astronomical twilight, and aiming to the west. That's hardly fair.

Navarrete talked about seeing a train of satellites, maybe the very same ones you're mentioning. Just those two on Saturday night made my jaw drop.

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