2017 Eclipse

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » January 26th, 2017, 11:19 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Here's the philosophy part: Beauty and awe of natural phenomena like eclipses: evidence of divine design or a reflection of our empathy with the universe of which we are an inextricable part?
Beauty in nature is generally what appears healthful, or looks like something that is usually healthful. So we find blue skies and waters more beautiful on Earth than we would find the red equivalents.

However, we are excited by eclipses because, as with thrill rides and horror movies, they are harmless events that look like a threat, and probably trigger similar brain chemicals. Maybe an initial adrenaline rush shaped pleasantly by a dopamine reward for being clever enough to know that this spooky thing in the sky is no threat.

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by A Poster He or I » January 27th, 2017, 12:07 am

Personally, what I find so uncanny about a total eclipse is that the combination of the moon's specific diameter and the moon's specific orbital distance from earth (except when at its apogee) are exactly what is needed to fully block the sun's disk but not its atmosphere (the corona). That is certainly something so unlikely as to make Design-believers salivate.

I've actually had the privilege to twice witness "annular" eclipses where the moon fully intersects the sun's path but, because it is at its orbital apogee, it is too small to fully block the sun, thereby creating a "ring of fire" in the sky. Unbelievably beautiful both times, once at sunset on the beach, and once in the afternoon where it created the most indescribable cast shadows I've ever seen.

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » January 27th, 2017, 5:28 am

Excellent. I just looked back in here and noticed that some people have replied. Thank you.

Ormond:
Just so you know, Wyoming is also a very conservative place. Probably every one of those half million folks voted for The Dumpster...
I already looked it up, as part of my research into how to fit in with the natives. Over 80% apparently. I guess I'll stay clear of politics and stick to the whole wonders of nature thing, being sure to make it clear that it was God who made the Sun and Moon roughly the same angular size for the benefit of humans. But seriously, being country folks, I suspect people might be a lot more friendly than they are in more urban places.

A Poster He or I:
By the time you get here, Steve, Wyoming may be the safest place to be, given how quickly our new President is polarizing the population. Anyway, I'll be settling for a partial eclipse from Southern California. If your travels afterward take you towards the L.A. area, I'll treat you to a drink somewhere.
Poster! Long time no speak. I hope the art is going well.

I'll bear what you say in mind. Would like to take you up on that offer of a drink but it's quite a long way to Southern California and I have the kids in tow. Although I've heard, via the medium of song, that it never rains there (but I think that was a metaphor). Also, I have relatives who live in Orange County LA who I'd rather avoid, and if I went very close to them I wouldn't have an excuse to do so.

Greta:
Beauty in nature is generally what appears healthful, or looks like something that is usually healthful. So we find blue skies and waters more beautiful on Earth than we would find the red equivalents.

However...
You may be right about the threat aspect of eclipses. Obviously, before it was known exactly what they are, like comets, they were portents of great change in human affairs. Presumably the resulting prophesies were often self-fulling. So, in that sense, they really did cause those changes.

Poster:
Personally, what I find so uncanny about a total eclipse is that the combination of the moon's specific diameter and the moon's specific orbital distance from earth (except when at its apogee) are exactly what is needed to fully block the sun's disk but not its atmosphere (the corona). That is certainly something so unlikely as to make Design-believers salivate.
Yes, it is quite a coincidence, although if I was being pedantic I 'd point out that, as with an annular eclipse, in a total eclipse the moon doesn't exactly fit the Sun's disc or else the totality would be instantaneous. It's slightly bigger. From the place where I'll be watching it will be about 2 1/2 minutes. I think the creator decided that was just long enough to give us a decent show and get some photos.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by A Poster He or I » January 30th, 2017, 10:28 pm

That's one smart Creator we've got up there, Steve. Two and a half minutes is just long enough to scare the daylights out of the world (hmm...pun?) but no so long that we get the chaos and destruction that Isaac Asimov describes in his classic sci-fi short-story "Nightfall."

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » January 30th, 2017, 10:35 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Greta:
Beauty in nature is generally what appears healthful, or looks like something that is usually healthful. So we find blue skies and waters more beautiful on Earth than we would find the red equivalents.

However...
You may be right about the threat aspect of eclipses. Obviously, before it was known exactly what they are, like comets, they were portents of great change in human affairs. Presumably the resulting prophesies were often self-fulling. So, in that sense, they really did cause those changes.
Yes, exactly. I think we all know that feeling when we've looked into the sky and figured something is wrong; there is an involuntary physical stress reaction, just as we have on the Big Dipper :) Then your frontal lobe kicks in and you feel a wash of relief with an associated dopamine reward for escaping the threat (in terms of evolution).

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 6th, 2017, 5:32 pm

Here is a picture of the almost full moon (it's completely full tomorrow) taken by me over southeast England about half an hour ago. In half an orbit - 2 weeks - it will be between the Sun and a thin strip of the USA. If anybody happens to be in Casper Wyoming, I might see you there.
Full Moon 2 06-AUG-2017 Small.JPG
Full Moon 2 06-AUG-2017 Small.JPG (71.32 KiB) Viewed 801 times
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by LuckyR » August 12th, 2017, 12:54 am

My backyard will have 99.3% of the way to totality.

Check out where you live:

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/ ... active-map
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 12th, 2017, 3:53 am

My backyard will have 99.3% of the way to totality.
Great! Be careful looking at it. I've read that even if it's almost completely total, if it's not complete it could damage your eyes to look at it without eclipse glasses.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by -1- » August 12th, 2017, 6:41 am

Steve3007 wrote:
A friend of mine apparently watched the 1999 eclipse from a mountain in Romania. Said it was fantastic.
Yeah. The closer you get, the bigger it seems.

Try and get front row centre seats in Wyoming. And if they allow tape recorders, then record the "whooosh" sound that the moon makes in the close passing.

-- Updated 2017 August 12th, 6:57 am to add the following --
A Poster He or I wrote:That's one smart Creator we've got up there, Steve. Two and a half minutes is just long enough to scare the daylights out of the world (hmm...pun?) but no so long that we get the chaos and destruction that Isaac Asimov describes in his classic sci-fi short-story "Nightfall."
Another literary masterpiece worth of mention that deals with the phenomenon is Mark Twain's "A Yanghkee In King Arthur's Court". The first part of the book deals specifically with the issue of ignorant masses viewing the eclipse as an omen.

The guy in Yanghkee... goes back in time from late 1800s to the middle of the middle ages, gets accused of heresy and witchcraft the moment he lands on British soil, and he saves his own skin by telling everyone he'll make the sun disappear if they don't release him and commute his death sentence by burnign at the stake to being a key adviser to the king, with a lifetime supply of beautiful young virgins. So they laugh at him, tie him the next morning to a pole, are about to set him to fire, when the eclipse begins. People: the king, high priests, noblemen, fair maidens, all implode emotionally, and implore him to bring back the light. Which he graciously does. He had just read in an Almanac, totally unrelatedly, the previous knight, before his miraculous transposition over ages and locations, that there would be an eclipse in England in 749 AD. on that day.

-- Updated 2017 August 12th, 7:02 am to add the following --

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by LuckyR » August 12th, 2017, 7:02 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
My backyard will have 99.3% of the way to totality.
Great! Be careful looking at it. I've read that even if it's almost completely total, if it's not complete it could damage your eyes to look at it without eclipse glasses.
I sent away for eclipse ready binoculars, they haven't shown up yet.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 13th, 2017, 4:39 am

Wyoming Eclipse Update

Long range weather forecasting, unlike long range eclipse forecasting, is pretty unreliable. In fact, even though both are theoretically describable by deterministic laws of physics, in terms of the spectrum from Newtonian clockwork precision to chaos they're polar opposites. But still I can help looking. One weather forecast for Casper Wyoming for the week leading up to the eclipse currently looks a little bit cloudy on eclipse-eve. In Alliance Nebraska, it's looking clearer. The moon's shadow will take less than 7 minutes to make that journey. By car it takes 3 1/2 hours.

But we might still do it, along with the other eclipse-nerds who've descended on Casper, if it looks necessary on the day.

LuckyR: I hope those eclipse bins show up on time.

-1-: I will be sure to record that whoosh and try not to get blown away by the rush of wind as that big old moon hurtles past.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by -1- » August 22nd, 2017, 6:30 am

Steve3007, how was the eclipse? I hope it wasn't eclipsed by bad weather.

Here in London I never looked up, but the sunshine's intensity was decreased to about 70 percent of normal, which was both weird and welcome. My eyes are bothered by too much light.

Steve, please tell us lusty tales of your adventure as you reached up with your arms from the top of the Rockies in Wyoming, and brushed the dark, rocky and dusty underside of the moon with it as it passed over you making its legendary proprietous and trademarked "Whoooosh...!" sound.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » August 22nd, 2017, 7:41 am

Steve3007 wrote:Here is a picture of the almost full moon (it's completely full tomorrow) taken by me over southeast England about half an hour ago. In half an orbit - 2 weeks - it will be between the Sun and a thin strip of the USA. If anybody happens to be in Casper Wyoming, I might see you there.
Full Moon 2 06-AUG-2017 Small.JPG
That's quite a camera you have, Steve! *jealous*

For the record, there was no eclipse for the southern hemisphere.

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by LuckyR » August 22nd, 2017, 11:14 pm

Good news, the solar binoculars showed up. I can now say that an eclipse is really two completely separate and different events. The first is the moon covering up to 99. 9% of the sun and the second is when it reaches 100. The first part looks like an overcast day, and if you didn't look at the sun with a filter, you would likely miss the entire event. True the birds stop chirping and it gets a little cool, but a very subtle event.

It does not really get what you would call dark until totality. Which is cool, but life changing? You have to be a bit of a romantic to go down that road.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by A Poster He or I » August 23rd, 2017, 11:15 am

I ended up seeing the eclipse from a beautiful park in Prineville, Oregon. At the last minute my brother's wife bailed out and I was invited to replace her so I drove up from So. California to Sacramento to join him. No significant traffic getting to the path of totality, but getting out was bad.

It was the most beautiful single thing I've ever seen. No photo or video I've ever seen before or since captures the VIVIDNESS of the spectacle, nor the subtleties of color in the sky and the corona. Venus was raging near the sky's zenith where one can never see it so high except at times like this. LuckyR is right. Up till 99+% it is just getting darker and the ground shadows sharper, though it is very exciting. Only at the moment the lunar shadow covers the ground, all the colors change suddenly and a gigantic black, black hole in the sky appears like magic, which due to the almost-pearlescent corona looks also like a glowing black jewel in the sky.

I'm very glad I spent the hours and hours of driving to get there.

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