Friday, April 19, 2024

Science and sky enthusiasts are preparing for the 2024 solar eclipse

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
"Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie."

People in the path of the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 will be praying for a cloud-free day. My husband and I will be out on the deck as we did seven years ago to catch a partial glimpse of the 2017 solar eclipse. But this event is different, as we will be front and center of the big show, as will our southern Indiana neighbors Barbara Stahura and Ken Willingham. Our area is 100% in its entirety.

“Watching the 2017 solar eclipse was an amazing experience; “Standing on the back deck and seeing the world go dark for a few minutes was amazing,” Stahura said.

We will do the same in April. Since we're on the way to college, we don't have to go anywhere to see it.

Many will host large-scale events in locations with clear views of the sky across the 14 states, with total portions of the eclipse on April 8. Gatherings are planned from Texas to Maine at places like Indianapolis Motor Speedway, whose large center field offers great viewing options that differ from the usual scene of partygoers at a racing event. Texas and Oklahoma offer several eclipse-related music festivals.

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Pam Carter, a retired high school physics teacher, and her family will be in the right place at the right time, in their home in San Antonio. A family member called a bed and breakfast in the Hill Country to reserve a room for the eclipse. In the Hill Country, the view is guaranteed to be devoid of foliage or urban lights, assuming a cloud-free day. What used to be $500 per night has jumped to $5,000 per night; The investigation was conducted one year before the eclipse. The Carters decided to watch it at home from their back deck.

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Crowds gathered in Australia to watch a rare hybrid solar eclipse over the country's west coast in April 2023. The moment of totality, when the sun was completely obscured, lasted about a minute, but the total eclipse occurred over several hours. Photo: Zulqarnain/Zuma Press

The science behind the eclipse

Carter falls easily into the language of teaching and takes me into her world. I quickly became a fan of the photos I took last summer when Texas experienced an annular lunar eclipse.

“The Moon was too far from Earth to completely cover the Sun,” Carter explained. When the lunar eclipse reaches its peak, you have a ring of fire where the moon covers everything but the edge of the sun. You will see that the shape of the crescent remains as the moon passes over the sun.”

She continued: “I saw the eclipse several years ago, and I knew about the circles that would be in the shadow. I didn't know exactly what the effect would be. The bottom of our pool looked grainy, which was very strange. There were fractals of light that were unusual. The sun was coming through the leaves and creating a crescent-shaped shadow, and it was refracted by the water and created this crazy effect on the bottom of the pond.

“We sat in our lounge chairs and put on our Amazon AMZN clothes.
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glasses and watched every minute of it. I was happy. “I’m a nerd,” Carter said.

She knew that the refracting sun would create designs on various items in her yard, and she had her camera at the ready.

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Right place right time

People watch the annular solar eclipse in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 14, 2023.

AFP via Getty Images

For Carter and others like her, the most important aspect is the opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse with loved ones.

My neighbors, Stahura and Willingham, and the Carter family are among the lucky ones who are in the right place at the right time. However, across the country there are science and sky enthusiasts who will travel to view the eclipse.

Leah Lin, who writes travel articles for Forbes and hosts the podcast “Places I remember” She will travel with her husband from their high-rise home in Miami to share the eclipse with her son in Rochester Park, New York.

At 81 years old, Lin has traveled the world and written numerous travel books and guides. She shows no signs of slowing down and is excited to experience another solar eclipse. She and her husband traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2017 to be in the path of the total eclipse.

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Risk of withdrawal

“We went to Nashville for the 2017 solar eclipse on my birthday, and it was cloudy, but the sun came out in the last 10 minutes before the eclipse,” Lane recalls. “We saw two sunsets that day: the eclipse sunset, and the regular sunset. There is no such thing as a total eclipse. The light is incredibly special.

Recalling his Tennessee trip, the avid traveler advises others: “We booked three days in Nashville and went a full day before the eclipse for various reasons. You don't want to miss your flight. One must also be aware that you may not get the full effect of the eclipse if the weather is cloudy.

“It's always good to visit a new area, so plan other things to do,” Lin continued. “We attended a special concert at the Grand Old Opry. We saw the stars not in the sky but at the Opry! I learned about a place I might not have seen otherwise.”

Lin remembers thinking 2024 was too far away.

In Rochester, she and her husband will share other events with her son and his significant others, including the Rochester Orchestra, light shows, acrobatics and ballet.

“I've always been interested in the sky. I love the stars and comets and the northern lights. There's a total eclipse up there, which is the most exciting thing the sky can do.”

“I'm looking forward to this year's eclipse. We can't wait to see the whole view. It gets quiet. The crickets come out, the birds chirp as if it's night. You can tell the difference in temperatures.”

Lynn is philosophical about her chosen hobby of travel writing and the adventures that follow. “What I always wanted and what it means to the world is to look back from this era and have happy memories that become more wonderful as you get older. I realized early on that I wanted to be a travel writer, and I went to 110 countries.

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Experience with friends

Toni Reese, a resident of Lexington, Kentucky, and her husband will join college friends from the State University of New York at Buffalo for the eclipse.

“In 2017, we decided to meet up with our best college friends in Nashville to see the eclipse,” explained Reese, a yoga teacher married to a teacher at the University of Kentucky. “Most of our friends are on the East or West Coast, and Tennessee is an easy place to meet up. We stayed downtown at a hotel.” “Omni, which had a rooftop pool. We watched from the loungers at the pool and got in and out of the pool. We had a great time.”

In anticipation of the 2024 eclipse, Reese and her husband, Mark Plavin, will join their college friends, most of them in their early 70s, who have been friends for decades.

“We rented a house near Letchworth State Park. We're going to go in a few days early and check out Frank and Teresa's Anchor Bar on Main Street, which makes the original Buffalo wings.

“I will try to see the eclipse no matter what. Seeing it with our friends in our old college town is great,” she said.

Rees has dipped his toe into the philosophical waters.

“I must say that, unlike many primitive peoples, I do not have superstitions or believe that eclipses are a sign or harbinger of the end of the world,” Rees said. “The eclipse is a sign of the rhythm in the universe that we are deprived of in such a profound way. A lot of what happens unless we have a wonderful telescope can't see it, so this has a bigger impact on me. It's not a cognitive idea. It's a feeling of something miraculous happening.”

“You,” Reese added Watch it unfold before you. I remember the last time the moon moved slowly in front of the sun, blocking out more of it until the sun set. getting dark. Darker and darker, then lighter and lighter.”

Amy McVeigh Abbott is a retired healthcare executive who writes about health and aging, caregiving, disability, and occasionally arts and history. She previously wrote “A Healthy Way” which was published by High Wire News Service.

This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org©2024 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. all rights are save.

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