Are you ready for the total solar eclipse?

The Cline Observatory Advisory Committee is preparing for the coming solar eclipse.  I realize that August 21, 2017 seems far into the future, but the date will sneak up on us if we’re not ready.

If you’ve not seen a solar eclipse, here’s a video of Mr. Eclipse showing a video of an eclipse to a room of disappointed observers.

Maybe an early decision to make is where you want to be when the eclipse occurs.  Around Greensboro, we’ll get only a partial eclipse.  Farther west in North Carolina, we would be in the path of totality.  Check this map for where you want to be.

Dennis preparing to time the eclipse of 1984.

In 1984 the central part of North Carolina experienced an annular solar eclipse.  On May 30, Barbara and I took our C-90 spotting scope to a little church yard just west of Salisbury to time the eclipse contacts.  Across the street were woods, and to our east was a farm yard full of cows.  As the eclise progressed we witnessed the birds flock for the evening in the woods, chirping up a racket  saying their good-nights.  The farm animals all headed towards the barn, ready for their evening routines.

We had accidentally parked the car under a tree, and during the eclipse we

Our best picture of the 1984 annular eclipse

noticed the spaces between the leaves acted like pin-hole cameras, distributing little crescent shaped all over the car hood.

After eclipse maximum, the birds across the street flew off after a very brief “night” and the farm animals came back out of the barn, probably wondering what happened to milking time.  It was a wonderful experience.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss the total solar eclipse next year.  Begin planning now.


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