Seeing the Solar Eclipse 2017
The Path to Totallity
Yesterday I got to check off something epic on my bucket list: seeing a solar eclipse. When I learned that the US was in her path for the first time sense 1979 I knew I couldn't miss it! My brother had been talking about going to Wyoming for 100% totality, so I knew I was there.
My mom actually found us the PERFECT spot for viewing in the middle-of-nowhere-Wyoming, Jamie owns a HUGE beautiful ranch in Rawhide Creek, Wyoming. She was so kind to rent out her property to campers from all across the US! It was so cool to just be surrounded by people who were as excited as we were for the eclipse. She joked this would be the only time she'd do something like this -- but maybe with some convincing she'll let us stay again ;)
What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse is when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun, fully covering up the sun in it's path of rotation, leaving only the corona (the glow ring) visible to the naked eye. This year the totality lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds. This means if you were in a 100% totality path it would have been cold and dark for over 2 minutes!
I started camping in Hawaii but always felt teased with the idea. We would set up our tent on the beach and I would fall asleep in a bikini top and shorts. This was Rashawn's very first time camping on the mainland and I kept waring him -- it is nothing like Hawaii! The temperature droped to about 50 degrees in the night and left our teeth chattering! I would do it again and again and again though because as soon as the sun set, this is what we saw.
I am still learning night photography, but when I saw the ENTIRE Milky-way with my naked eye I knew I had to at lest try! It was honestly one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Stars were scattered across the dark sky as far as the eye could see. I even saw a shooting star - which was just my cherry on top for the whole trip. If you ever want a good view of the stars and Milky-way just head to Wyoming! There is very little light pollution anywhere and camping is free on Public Land.
In the morning we were treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. The sun came up RIGHT in front of our faces in all its glory. I think the sun was particulary big and warm this day, but I don't have any science to back this up :) It just felt that way to me!
I patiently watched from my tent and then cheered as NO clouds came. We had the perfect spot for viewing and I was totally geeking out :)
What's with the glasses?
Looking directly at the sun on any given day can be dangerous. And when a SolarEclipse happens, all you do is look at the sun! So it is SO important to have the proper eye protection otherwise it has the potential to make you blind. Any time you view an eclipse you should have the proper certified eye gear. The lenses are SO dark you cannot see anything but the sun with them. When it is in totality you can take the glasses off to view the glowing ring. This year all glasses completely sold out for the eclipse, so get them early for 2024!! :)
Below is a series of 4 images I took during the eclipse. I really had no idea what to expect, so when I saw the sky changing into the eerie gray behind me I was totally freaking out! It started out so blue, like the most beautiful day! Then it looked like a storm was coming turning grayer and grayer. The last image is from Totality which was SO EPIC!
I will never ever forget that moment of watching the eclipse happen and then taking off my glasses. I scremed "Oh My Gosh It Is So Dark!!!!". It absolutely blew my mind. It felt about 15 degrees cooler and alsmost all of the wind stopped. It was top 5 best expereinces of my life.
I am going to treasure this picture forever. It was so neat to see it right in front of us and experice the eclipse in full. CNN posted this article about Eclipse Chasers and well, I think I can offically add it to my resume :)
How can I see an Eclipse?
To my surprise, they actually happen more often than we think! The trick is, its path is different! The next total eclipse in the US is actually on April 8th 2024! This path starts in Mexico and crossed through the US to Canada, leaving some pretty epic spots for viewing like Niagara Falls and Buffolo New York! If you just can't wait 7 years then don't worry! The next eclipse is in the South Pacific in 2019. Here is a guide to the Eclipse and Here is a link to check viewable spots and other forms of eclipses!