Total Eclipse of the Blog

Yesterday (Monday, August 21, 2017) was Eclipse Day here in the US, with a number of places across this fair land getting the once-or-twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a solar eclipse. Of course, necessary precautions have to be taken to view an eclipse, like protective eyewear, special viewing devices, and excuses to be out of school or work. But nevertheless, it was quite a spectacle for an hour or so.

Contrary to my article title, we here in Eastern North Carolina didn’t get theΒ total eclipse, but we got quite a partial. At the height of the event, there really wasn’t much sun hidden away. We didn’t go dark–which gives you an idea of how bright the sun is, that even a sliver of sunlight keeps the birds happy… not that you hadn’t figured that out already by having your retina burned from staring at the sun too long–but the light did dim a bit.

I didn’t have the equipment to capture the event as one might like (do I look like NASA?), but I gave it my former-British best. Swiping my boss’s cardboard Eclipse Glasses (the black market value of which competed with gold for about 20 mins prior), I held them up to the lens of my phone and took a picture:


Hmmm. Not very impressive. I mean, you can see the sun, but not much eclipse. Then I hit upon the idea that maybe the filter was too close to the lens. With the help of a co-worker who held the glasses, I took a picture through the filter at a distance of a few inches:

It won’t win a Pulitzer, but it’ll do. It looks dark because of the filter, not because it was actually dark. Trust me, it wasn’t.

The eclipse started around 1:25 pm Eastern Time, peaked at around 2:50 pm, and it was all over with a little after 4. For those who missed it, I believe there’ll be another in 2024. See you then! πŸ™‚

Did you see the eclipse? Any stories to share? Or was it much ado about nothing for you?

4 thoughts on “Total Eclipse of the Blog

  1. Claire W Bobrow

    Great photo, Colin! Here in San Francisco, the moon blocked about 75% of the sun’s rays. The sky did not darken significantly to my eyes (and the fog layer was still fairly thick) – it dimmed to about the same level of darkness as a stormy day. We didn’t have eclipse-viewing glasses, but used the old colander trick to see shadows of what was happening.

    1. cds Post author

      Thanks, Claire! We did have some clouds, but they only interfered a couple of times. By and large it was a hot, sunny day–good for viewing eclipses. I only read about the colander trick this year. You can also use leaf shadow patterns, or even make a grid pattern with your fingers. I guess the principle is that of casting a shadow that allows sufficient light to filter through that you see the shadow of the sun. Cool stuff! πŸ™‚

  2. The Silver Fox

    I’m afraid I’m part of the “much ado about nothing” brigade. I was working online for several hours yesterday in my local public library, and missed the whole thing. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next one, providing I even live that long.

    1. cds Post author

      Sorry to hear that, Silver Fox. I guess it was most spectacular for those who got the TOTAL experience. You surely wouldn’t have missed it going dark for a few minutes in the middle of the morning/afternoon (depending on time zone). πŸ™‚


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