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Ron McLeod
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In just under 2 weeks (August 21st) North Americans will be able to experience a solar eclipse.  Being in Vancouver, we will get around a 85% partial eclipse.  It would be around a six hour drive to get to Oregon to view a total eclipse, so I think I'll just stay home and enjoy my partial eclipse.



Anyone else got plans for viewing?  Have you already sorted-out where to get your ISO-rated glasses?
 
Jesper de Jong
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Yes, next Saturday my vacation starts and I'm traveling to the USA. I'll be experiencing the solar eclipse somewhere around Casper, Wyoming.

Let's see what's going to happen. Maybe it will be a crazy day with traffic jams and hundreds of thousands of people trying to get a view.

My brother got us some eclipse glasses.
 
Paul Anilprem
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I saw it once in India. I think it was sometime around '96, when I was in college.  It was amazing. There is nothing like a total solar eclipse. Didnt get a chance after that.

It is a must see event. Specially, if you have kids, I would suggest not to lose this opportunity.Of course, appropriate precautions must be taken.
 
Paul Anilprem
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Jesper de Jong wrote:Yes, next Saturday my vacation starts and I'm traveling to the USA. I'll be experiencing the solar eclipse somewhere around Casper, Wyoming.

Let's see what's going to happen. Maybe it will be a crazy day with traffic jams and hundreds of thousands of people trying to get a view.

My brother got us some eclipse glasses.


You don't need to be at a particular spot. It is quite a wide belt. So I don't think you need to worry about traffic jams.
 
Stephan van Hulst
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I once saw a partial solar eclipse while in Spain. It was only very slight, but all the light suddenly looked very strange and all the birds became very quiet. I would love to see a full solar eclipse some day.
 
fred rosenberger
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I don't have to drive anywhere and will get to see the total eclipse.  it will be brief where I am (at least, the totality), but we'll be able to go outside and just look up (with the correct eyewear).
 
Henry Wong
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Having experienced a total eclipse, many years ago, it is an amazing sight. You actually don't need protective eye wear (once it goes total that is, but you will definitely need it during the partial, so be careful).

You also need the eye wear to actually see the partial, as it just seems like a hazy day otherwise.  Unfortunately, the best part is the total eclipse. The partial is kinda boring in comparison ... ... The temperature will drop (so bring a jacket). Any roosters nearby will crow. Any street lamps, that use solar, will turn on. And the sun will look like a black hole in the sky, with an aura around it.

Henry
 
Paul Anilprem
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Henry Wong wrote:The temperature will drop (so bring a jacket). Any roosters nearby will crow. Any street lamps, that use solar, will turn on. And the sun will look like a black hole in the sky, with an aura around it.

Henry

and then you see the diamond ring https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baily%27s_beads

(Be very very careful if you plan to see it. It can fry your retina.)

btw, birds go crazy. they start behaving like its evening time and then morning again.
 
Randy Maddocks
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:...but all the light suddenly looked very strange and all the birds became very quiet...


Don't know why, but reading that gave me chills. I kind of suspected something as unique as a solar eclipse would cause some "disruption" to animals, but did not know about how birds react. Fascinating!

I also strongly agree with those who cautioned about wearing appropriate eye protection. I have also heard it can cause damage to eyes, during a specific phase.

 
Knute Snortum
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Paul Anilprem wrote:You don't need to be at a particular spot. It is quite a wide belt. So I don't think you need to worry about traffic jams.

There is a prediction of traffic jams in and around Salem, Oregon.
 
Ron McLeod
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Jesper de Jong wrote:I'll be experiencing the solar eclipse somewhere around Casper, Wyoming.

Capser is right on the center-line - you should have great viewing.

I'm rethinking whether I should make the 6 hour drive to Portland to see the total eclipse 
 
Henry Wong
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Ron McLeod wrote:
Capser is right on the center-line - you should have great viewing.


Weather would be your main concern. You don't want a cloudy day...

Henry
 
Paul Clapham
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It may be that safe eye protection exists for people who want to look directly at the sun without blinding themselves. I'm not going to recommend any such thing because I don't have a safe recommendation. My method of watching partial eclipses is to point a pair of binoculars at the sun and adjust the direction they are pointed in until they project an image of the sun onto some light-coloured surface. Even concrete will do. You should make sure that they are set so that distant objects appear in focus before you start that process. Again, only use the binoculars to project the sun when you aren't looking through them!

My son told me that he's considering making the 6-hour drive from California to Oregon to see the total eclipse. He said that you can camp anywhere you like in a national forest, you aren't limited to staying in a designated campground. So you just find a suitable place to pitch your tent (just make sure it isn't right next to the road) and you're set to go. That's fine for him because he's a geologist and he's used to pitching a tent in any old place while doing field work.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ron McLeod wrote: Being in Vancouver, we will get around a 85% partial eclipse. Anyone else got plans for viewing?

I'm going to be on vacation in Vancouver so I'll be enjoying Ron's 85%  partial eclipse . A far better view than at home in NY. The Vancouver Space Center is holding a viewing party on their lawn with telescopes. So I picked that day to go the museums in that area.

Ron McLeod wrote: Have you already sorted-out where to get your ISO-rated glasses?

In the US, 7-Eleven is selling ISO rated glasses for $3. I bought a pair last weekend.

Note: The American Astronomical Society has a listof safe places to buy them. Apparently people are hawking things that aren't safe and selling them on the street.
 
Ron McLeod
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Knute Snortum wrote:There is a prediction of traffic jams in and around Salem, Oregon.

I was reading an article in The Telegraph this evening that mentions this:

"The lightly populated state of Oregon is expecting up to one million eclipse chasers and is treating the event as an emergency. Police everywhere are asking people to be patient. Even stuck in a traffic jam the sight should be wonderful."
 
Ron McLeod
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:In the US, 7-Eleven is selling ISO rated glasses for $3. I bought a pair last weekend.

I couldn't find any for sale locally (7-Eleven, Walmart, BestBuy).  They were for $38USD on Amazon.ca for a pack of 5 folder cardboard glasses, which seemed a bit gougy, so I ended-up buying a 10 pack for $18USD from Amazon.com and shipped them to my US address.  Now I'll have extras to share with family and neighbours.
 
Jesper de Jong
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This looks useful: Solar Eclipse 2017: Traffic and Weather Forecasts for States in Totality

Henry Wong wrote:Weather would be your main concern. You don't want a cloudy day...

With regard to the weather, Wyoming should be one of the places where you have the best chance of having a clear sky, according to the article above. More to the southwest the chance of clouds is higher.

Our hotel for that day is not in the totality area, we will have to drive about 100 miles that morning to get there. Hopefully the roads will not be completely packed...

It's not my first solar eclipse, I've also seen it in 1999 in northern France. It was partly cloudy there, so it could have been more spectacular. Still it was an interesting experience. When it's coming, you see the sky getting dark in the west, and then suddenly it becomes dark. And a few minutes later it disappears as quickly as it came, and you see the dark sky going away towards the east.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ron: Eclipse glasses are way less popular here in NY so I'm not surprised they were easier to buy for me. We aren't near the path. That's also *why* I bought that at home rather than waiting until I get to Canada.

Jesper: While it's too far away now for the weather the expected traffic is known. And I'm sure they will update the weather as more is known.
 
Ron McLeod
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Jesper de Jong wrote:Our hotel for that day is not in the totality area, we will have to drive about 100 miles that morning to get there. Hopefully the roads will not be completely packed...

I decided to make the drive to Portland (actually just across the river in Vancouver, WA) to get a better view.  I'm also going to drive about a 100 miles to try and get right under the centre or the arc.  I'm leaving 4 or 5 hours to get there, but if the traffic gets really bad, we will just park somewhere safe along the way as the time for the start of the eclipse approaches (around 9:00am pacific time).
 
Ron McLeod
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Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ron,
Ha! Let's reschedule nature. I wonder if the person read the subject of the gathering or not.

In any case, nice bit of humor.
 
Ron McLeod
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
Ron McLeod wrote: Have you already sorted-out where to get your ISO-rated glasses?

In the US, 7-Eleven is selling ISO rated glasses for $3. I bought a pair last weekend.

Note: The American Astronomical Society has a listof safe places to buy them. Apparently people are hawking things that aren't safe and selling them on the street.

It seems like the includes Amazon suppliers.  I got this message this morning regarding the glasses that I just bought:

From: Amazon.com [order-update@amazon.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:00 AM
Subject: Important Product Safety Notification Regarding Your Amazon.com Order

Hello,

We’re writing to provide you with important safety information about the eclipse products you purchased on Amazon (Solar Eclipse Glasses | ISO & CE Certified Safe Solar Eclipse Shades | Viewer and Filters | Protection For All Ages (10 Pack)).

To protect your eyes when viewing the sun or an eclipse, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) advise you to use solar eclipse glasses or other solar filters from recommended manufacturers.  Viewing the sun or an eclipse using any other glasses or filters could result in loss of vision or permanent blindness. 

Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier of your order that they sourced the item from a recommended manufacturer.  We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse.

Amazon is applying a balance for the purchase price to Your Account (please allow 7-10 days for this to appear on Your Account).  There is no need for you to return the product. You can view your available balance and activity here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/css/gc/balance/

For more information about safely viewing a solar eclipse please see the NASA and AAS websites.

If you purchased this item for someone else, please pass along this information to the recipient.

We hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,

Customer Service
Amazon.com

 
Ron McLeod
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Ron McLeod wrote:
Jesper de Jong wrote:Our hotel for that day is not in the totality area, we will have to drive about 100 miles that morning to get there. Hopefully the roads will not be completely packed...

I decided to make the drive to Portland (actually just across the river in Vancouver, WA) to get a better view.  I'm also going to drive about a 100 miles to try and get right under the centre or the arc.  I'm leaving 4 or 5 hours to get there, but if the traffic gets really bad, we will just park somewhere safe along the way as the time for the start of the eclipse approaches (around 9:00am pacific time).

I saw this Google map with a prediction of the highway/freeway traffic will be across the country - follow the link and zoom in for specific roadways ...

Map of predicted traffic density on highways crossing the 2017 Solar Eclipse path

 
Paul Clapham
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I'm going to be on vacation in Vancouver so I'll be enjoying Ron's 85%  partial eclipse . A far better view than at home in NY. The Vancouver Space Center is holding a viewing party on their lawn with telescopes.


I should warn you that in Vancouver, interesting astronomical events have a strong tendency to coincide with cloudy weather    I went out five years in a row to look for Leonid meteors and never saw one because it was cloudy every time.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Paul Clapham wrote:
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I'm going to be on vacation in Vancouver so I'll be enjoying Ron's 85%  partial eclipse . A far better view than at home in NY. The Vancouver Space Center is holding a viewing party on their lawn with telescopes.


I should warn you that in Vancouver, interesting astronomical events have a strong tendency to coincide with cloudy weather    I went out five years in a row to look for Leonid meteors and never saw one because it was cloudy every time.

I have a contingency plan. Aka something else to the rest of that day so it won't ruin my whole day. Thanks for the warning though.
 
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is it just me, or does it strike anyone else as odd, that the sun and the moon appear to be the same diameter from here. i'm not a big fan of coincidence
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Jesper de Jong wrote:. . . Maybe it will be a crazy day with traffic jams and hundreds of thousands of people trying to get a view. . . .
That is why they said in 1999 when I went to visit my sister in Devon for the eclipse there. It didn't come to pass.

Or maybe Devon is so crowded in August anyway that I couldn't tell the difference
 
Paul Clapham
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It wasn't always like that, and it won't always be like that in the future. Because of tidal friction, the moon's orbit is slowly moving away from the earth. So in the past the moon appeared much larger than the sun, and in the future the moon will appear much smaller than the sun. But at this time the moon appears approximately the same size as the sun. I suppose you could call that a coincidence, in the same way that if you happened to notice that a tree had grown to a height of exactly one meter you might call that a coincidence too.
 
Randall Twede
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OMG! we are gonna lose the moon. OMG!
 
Paul Clapham
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So now that the eclipse is over... where are all of the news articles showing us the traffic mayhem caused by millions of people converging on the line of totality? News organizations? Anyone?
 
Ron McLeod
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We stayed in Vancouver, WA for a few nights before the eclipse and then drove the last 2.5 hours to Madras, OR early Monday morning.  I was (pleasantly) surprised at the lack of traffic - no delays at all.

Coming back there was congestion, but no-where near what was predicted.  Leaving Madras, Route 26 was shutdown both directions for almost 45 minutes due to a what we were told was a head-on crash.  Traffic on the I5 from Portland to Olympia was slow, occasionally stopping all together.  We probably spent around 10 hours travelling from Madras back home to Richmond, BC (about a 7.5 hour trip with no traffic) - less than what I was expecting, but still a long drive.
 
fred rosenberger
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This may be a "self-defeating" prophecy.  If the news predicts all these terrible traffic conditions, it could scare away a lot of people, thus there is no traffic jam.

I always roll my eyes when people bring up Y2K.  There were tons of predictions of the chaos and mayhem that would follow. After the (mostly) boring event, everyone said "All that hype and it was nothing!!!". That's because millions of people (many of whom visit this site) worked for weeks and months to STOP those terrible things from happening.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Those that follow me on FaceBook have seen this, but for the others, my trick for seeing the eclipse was to use the pinholes in colander.



The trees in my backyard also threw cool patterns of light and shade.

 
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From where you are, Bear, it would be quite safe to look at the sun. Yes, I know everybody who looks at the sun goes blind within seconds, but I have been looking at sunshine since before you were born and can still see all right. You need a telescope or binoculars to gave at the sun, using the projection technique.
Place some sort of baffle around the instrument to cast a shadow.
Point the device at the sun.
Don't look into it.
Defocus it by turning the focus ring or knob in the direction you would use to focus at close objects, and keep turning.
Hold a screen (e.g. sheet of white paper) behind the eyepiece, i.e. in the shadow of the telescope, and with a bit of focussing an image of the sun will be shone on that screen.
In the case of binoculars, it may be easier to leave the lens cap on one half.
It uses a similar principle to the colander, but casts one clear image rather than multiple blurry images.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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The eye may be adapted for looking at sunshine, but not to the sudden change in brightness from very dark to a tiny point of bright light as happens at the end of a total eclipse; the bright light shining on a dilated pupil is what is harmful.
 
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Re: Traffic

We drove from the Detroit, MI, area to Nashville, TN, for that weekend. Drive down took about 8.5 hours (actual drive time). Just as the eclipse was starting in the Nashville area, clouds started rolling in, so we headed north and stopped when convenient. We watched the eclipse (TOTALITY!) from a truck stop just north of the Tennessee/Kentucky border (about 30 minutes north of our hotel on the outskirts of Nashville). From there it took about 10.5 hours to drive home. So I'd say the traffic jams after the eclipse cost us about 2.5 hours. Bad, but not super bad.

Seeing totality was worth it.
 
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