Experiencing a Total Solar Eclipse

Totality Is Everything.

If you can, get within a few miles of center-line of the path of the Moon's shadow.

1) https://xkcd.com/1880/: https://xkcd.com/1880/
2) Watch
The next one is in South America in 2019:

Read These Articles on Safety, Etc:

   (Also applies anytime you want to look at the Sun,
      including partial & annular solar eclipses.)



The rest of my comments are not complete. Read up! You might find different parts of this rare experience to focus on.

To Repeat What You Just Read, PROTECT YOUR EYES!

I use a pin hole camera until a minute before totality. Much safer.

Your eclipse glasses should meet both the new ISO 12312-2 (2015) international standard for solar viewers and be CE certified which meets the transmission requirements of scale 12-16 of EN 169/1992.

Just before you put the glasses on, CHECK FOR DAMAGE. Every Time. Pin holes, a crease, separation of the film from the frame, etc. Any damage can expose your eyes to being blinded by the Sun. Both visually inspect them, & the shadow the Sun casts on them, by holding at arms length near the ground

Also be careful as you get the sun/moon image into the center of the glasses, that NO sunlight gets in around the the edges of the glasses' frame.

Take the glasses off after both Baily's Beads and the Diamond Ring have disappeared. Enjoy totality with your naked eyes.

As soon as you see either Baily's Beads or the Diamond Ring at the end of totality, close both eyes, look away from the sun.

Then either put the glasses back on (check them!) or go back to a pin hole camera.

Instead of eclipse glasses, I use a full welder's mask with #14 welders glass installed. The kind that flips up to expose the face. Much safer. Also check for holes, crack, edge leaks, etc.

For two reasons, I wear an eye patch on my best eye:

  • Added protection to make sure at least one eye is undamaged.
  • The patch dark adapts my best eye to see stars & planets during totality. And at times the Milky Way.

    Though I hope not:

    If you think you have any damage to your eyes. As soon as you think that. Get to an Emergency Room. Have someone else drive you.

    Stages of the Eclipse:


    A total solar eclipse has a sunrise before & a sunset after. Not caused by the horizon of the Earth, but by the edges of the Moon. Pay attention to how the sky, plants, & animals around you respond.

    A few minutes before totality, you'll see the Moon's shadow approaching from the West. After totality, you can it retreating to the East.


    Totality will go very quick. Probably the quickest minutes of your life.

    Best to share with people after its over. Just take it all in by yourself. Unless you have children with you, who need your guidance.

    The Sun's corona & prominences in the lower solar atmosphere, contrasted against the blackness of the Moon can be riveting. Pull your eyes away to look at the full sky.

    Near & during totality there will be sunset/sunrise red/orange glow around the full horizon. Take a moment & do a slow swirl to enjoy it.

    During totality, the sky will be as dark as it is 20-30 minutes after sunset.

    Have a look for visible planets & bright stars:


    A total solar eclipse is also your best chance to see the planet Mercury, the closest to the Sun.

    from: http://ideas.4brad.com/your-eclipse-guide-things-not-many-eclipse-guides

    An eclipse is most glorious in the sky but a lot of other things happen around it. As it gets very close to total you will see the nature of the sunlight change and become quite eerie. Shadows of trees will turn into collections of crescents. About 20-60 seconds before and after totality, if you have a white sheet on the ground, you will see ripples of light waving, like on the bottom of a giant swimming pool. And the shadow. You will see it approach. If you are up on a mountain or in a plane this will be more obvious. It is going at 1,000 to 2,000 miles per hour.

    You will also see things like animals getting ready to go to bed as though it is night. All leading up to the big event.

    After Totality

    Very shortly after totality ends, must people lose interest & go into full social mode.

    I check that the pin hole camera is working OK,

    Then go off by myself to enjoy the most unusual sunrise, I have every experienced. Full focus. Letting words go. Just soaking in the sensory experience.

    Which is what I've been attempting since the Moon first contacted the Sun.

    Be Safe & Enjoy It!

    best -len
    len tower's home page
    tower @ art.net
    tower @ alum.mit.edu

    updated: Sun Aug 27 10:52:46 2017