Author Topic: 2017 total solar eclipse  (Read 6175 times)

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Offline Tour1

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2017 total solar eclipse
« on: August 22, 2016, 03:16:27 pm »
We're expecting a total solar eclipse om August 21, 2017.  In the it will be about 10:18 AM near Salem, Oregon and cross the USA through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  Not all parts of the states listed will get a total eclipse, and some parts of neighboring states will get a total eclipse.  It will be over about 2:50 PM EDT but don't be fooled by the time span because totality lasts less than 3 minutes in each place on the centerline and the time jumps an hour with each time zone going east.  The path of totality is about 60 miles wide.  At the edges it only be dark for a fraction of a second, longer as you get closer to the centerline.  Outside path of totality there is a partial eclipse with the percentage dropping as distance increases.  You will need arc welder's glasses to look at the sun safely, please do some research on that.  Even in the path of totality you will want to look before and after.  I used a safe solar filter to watch a total eclipse that was in Baja, CA, but I saw only a 5% eclipse from my home on Long Island, NY.

So you can find details about the path of totality at
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

I'm suspicious of a URL with all those googles in it but since it didn't work with my android phone it's probably genuine, I'll edit it if necessary when I get on a real computer.

What's good about an eclipse for bikes is that it requires some mobility to avoid clouds sometimes, it's really short, and your headlight won't bother any hard-core telescope users.  Night time telescope users  value their night vision and a stray headlight will mess that up for up to a half hour so bikes would need illegal headlight circuit mods to mingle up close.  If you do chance to enter telescope country at night, park next to the road with your headlights pointed down the road, not at the telescopes or up in the sky.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do so don't shine lights around either, just hang still until you are dark adapted and you'll see their dim red flashlights etc.

In the meantime, my plan was to visit the wife's relatives in Seattle, rent a car and drive to Madras, Oregon to catch the eclipse near there.  Dry climates are best for avoiding clouds but so are straight up viewing angles.  That's what makes Casper, Wyoming so good this time. A sunrise view may have to see through 400 miles of clouds but a straight up view only needs to dodge the local clouds.
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Offline MrPepsi

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 08:52:15 pm »
Good stuff! Thanks.
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Offline MizzouMike

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2016, 01:29:26 am »
Wow, less than 100 miles from my house to the primary path...   Anyone want to bring their welding googles and hang out in KC next year?
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Offline Tour1

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 06:30:14 am »
Wow, less than 100 miles from my house to the primary path...   Anyone want to bring their welding googles and hang out in KC next year?

Oh yeah I want to... but plan A is to visit the relatives in Seattle etc, said plan being almost doomed from the start.  I am leery of 2 lane highways that might get jammed with traffic, motels that are already booked solid, being under the de facto control of a family I hardly know... and if they're like my wife they have zero concept of arriving with time to spare.

I verified the link in the OP and got these too:

http://www.nasa.gov/content/eye-safety-during-a-total-solar-eclipse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C0SeDenPRo

be ready to cancel the next one(s) but maybe watch
https://youtu.be/yKFPL9xBe_U


http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEpath/SEpath2001/SE2017Aug21Tpath.html

I think the ideal location for a late starter like myself would be 1 or 2 hundred miles from the center path and it would be good if it was the kind of place that has multiple roads at various angles towards the path of totality.  Kansas City being a little too perfect because it could be booked up, compared to Omaha where a lot of people might just be ignoring the event.  Of course this tactic is geared towards moving in the direction if the better weather.  If you would sit still and take what you get then there may be someplace under the path and not booked up.
You need to have a nice place to sit through it, too, and it may not be safe to stop on the side of an interstate.
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Offline Tour1

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 06:57:24 am »
Mike, I see you're about 5-1/2 hours from Rt 127 through Trail of Tears State Forest in Illinois.  That's real close to the longest & it crosses the centerline a mile into the park as you go south.  (You can find it on the map and click "imagery" to see the actual road)
With no paved shoulder, 1 lane each way under ideal circumstances, and a bunch of folks trying to park right there I bet it will be a road rage riot.  But if the weather is perfect and you get there first...  Best to check with the troopers and park management to see what they will allow.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 02:33:22 pm by Tour1, Reason: Took out a bad link »
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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 10:24:42 am »
I have thought this out pretty carefully and from my storm chasing/forecasting experience have a target for the eclipse:

http://www.stapletonnebraskaeclipse2017.com/

This is the preliminary target ellipse I have identified and I was able to make room reservations in McCook, NE for the dates.

That area has a 75% probability for clear skies and favorable weather. Additionally, there are better road networks in case a last minute weather system makes repositioning along the totality path to clear skies a better choice.

My plan is to drive to Stapleton in the morning with the tripods, cameras, and telescope and use the golf course there which is right on the maximum totality path. They are going to have an admission fee I think, but if you are setting up equipment for photography and video it is better to have a confirmed spot!!!

All the rooms along I80 are long gone so if you want to go to the Sand Hills for the eclipse, better make plans soon!

A couple of other towns along the path, Tryon and Alliance are planning events for the eclipse.

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Offline MizzouMike

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2016, 11:38:34 pm »
I was thinking about the driveway.... but Illinois is good too!   :great:  I may take off from work, since by geographic coincidence I have good seats to the show. Now to order a #14 lens and a welding hood.   Not sure what the kids will be doing that day, but I assume they will be at school???  If the NASA link is correct, I should have about 30s of full eclipse with the sun at 172degrees 62degrees above the horizon.   If I get some wild hair and decide to go and chase this thing (avoiding clouds) I can get into NEKS or SENE easily on US73 and avoid any major/minor cities.

The day off of work looks better and better after thinking about it for a while.

Mike, I see you're about 5-1/2 hours from Rt 127 through Trail of Tears State Forest in Illinois.  That's real close to the longest & it crosses the centerline a mile into the park as you go south.  (You can find it on the map and click "imagery" to see the actual road)
With no paved shoulder, 1 lane each way under ideal circumstances, and a bunch of folks trying to park right there I bet it will be a road rage riot.  But if the weather is perfect and you get there first...  Best to check with the troopers and park management to see what they will allow.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 12:00:16 am by MizzouMike »
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Offline Tour1

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2016, 05:31:03 pm »
I suggest getting to the ideal spot at least an hour ahead of time, then set up camp and hang out.  I think the 2-lane road through the park is a trap, at least the short stretch I looked at.  A motel room in the path would be great but I never expected them to be booked a year in advance.
The dry prairie areas look good too but they lack shade & bathrooms.  I can deal if it's deserted, with the wife or crowds it could be a spoiler or at least a time limiter.  There won't be any rows of porta-potties in the desert.
For eastern Oregon or similar places I should search for strip malls and fast food joints.  The advantage there is it will be 10 AM or so when they might welcome the extra business.
At least if I miss the whole thing I can side with the natives that think it's bad luck to experience one.
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2016, 09:30:12 pm »
I may plan a trip to Idaho or Montana and take the RV to position somewhere a bit deserted. I've been through one before and it's awesome if you can get high enough to be able to see for a few miles. You can see the line of total darkness tearing towards you if you have a vantage point. And if you're in the wild, all the birds and small creatures suddenly react to unexpected arrival of night and they disappear in the matter of minutes.

Of course maybe the same thing will happen if you're in a city -- depends on the neighborhood.
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Offline LSGiant

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2017 Total Eclipse
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 04:25:22 pm »
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

This is coming to the continental US for the first time in many years and will not return for many more.  I am going to camp here http://outdoornebraska.gov/rockford/  for the weekend  for good weather. I will have the RV so if you wish to join me we will treat you all as family.

I am also interested to hear what others are doing for this unique celestial event.
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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 04:35:01 pm »
I merged the threads. Craig
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Offline 2fast

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Re: 2017 Total Eclipse
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 06:14:55 pm »
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

This is coming to the continental US for the first time in many years and will not return for many more.  I am going to camp here http://outdoornebraska.gov/rockford/  for the weekend  for good weather. I will have the RV so if you wish to join me we will treat you all as family.

I am also interested to hear what others are doing for this unique celestial event.


Time permitting, I'll see you there!
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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2017, 09:34:31 pm »
If you miss this one there's another in 2024....https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024/

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 09:53:32 pm »
If you miss this one there's another in 2024....https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024/

The math is working against me and everyone else. See my signature line. I have come to time and realization in my life that if I have an opportunity I am not going to pass it up on the possibility that I may be able to do it in the future.
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Offline SteveJ.

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Re: 2017 Total Eclipse
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2017, 12:15:01 am »
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

This is coming to the continental US for the first time in many years and will not return for many more.  I am going to camp here http://outdoornebraska.gov/rockford/  for the weekend  for good weather. I will have the RV so if you wish to join me we will treat you all as family.

I am also interested to hear what others are doing for this unique celestial event.


Maybe. We would be in the Roadtrek, most likely. With a trailer behind. Will this work? We are self contained for a minimum of four days, more if we get creative(and a little aromatic). We will be coming from the west. Not sure how this will come together.

I couldn't find a way to reserve. Is this first come? When did you plan on arriving?

Weather will play a role in this as we will stay farther west if need be.
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Offline freebird6

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2017, 12:16:09 am »
Fascinating thread.

I think the land between the lakes in KY looks like a winner VIA BG Parkway for me. Interesting following the path. One of the most desolate places I know along the path, Casper WYO and along Rte 126 out there would ensure no traffic to worry about but I am not up for that kind of a trip. I spent a week there one night and do not really want to relive that.

That is a few days after my birthday so maybe I will try to celebrate with this.




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Re: 2017 Total Eclipse
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2017, 02:49:22 am »
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

This is coming to the continental US for the first time in many years and will not return for many more.  I am going to camp here http://outdoornebraska.gov/rockford/  for the weekend  for good weather. I will have the RV so if you wish to join me we will treat you all as family.

I am also interested to hear what others are doing for this unique celestial event.


Maybe. We would be in the Roadtrek, most likely. With a trailer behind. Will this work? We are self contained for a minimum of four days, more if we get creative(and a little aromatic). We will be coming from the west. Not sure how this will come together.

I couldn't find a way to reserve. Is this first come? When did you plan on arriving?

Weather will play a role in this as we will stay farther west if need be.

I emailed the park and it is first come first serve. The gentlemen replied that the electric sites fill up but if we did not need electricity they would find a spot for us. We also can go easily without any hook ups. We will head east or west on Sunday depending on the weather.
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Offline danodemotoman

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2017, 07:54:10 am »
 A fine thing to spend on my birthday.

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: 2017 Total Eclipse
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2017, 02:12:02 pm »
https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

This is coming to the continental US for the first time in many years and will not return for many more.  I am going to camp here http://outdoornebraska.gov/rockford/  for the weekend  for good weather. I will have the RV so if you wish to join me we will treat you all as family.

I am also interested to hear what others are doing for this unique celestial event.


Maybe. We would be in the Roadtrek, most likely. With a trailer behind. Will this work? We are self contained for a minimum of four days, more if we get creative(and a little aromatic). We will be coming from the west. Not sure how this will come together.

I couldn't find a way to reserve. Is this first come? When did you plan on arriving?

Weather will play a role in this as we will stay farther west if need be.

I emailed the park and it is first come first serve. The gentlemen replied that the electric sites fill up but if we did not need electricity they would find a spot for us. We also can go easily without any hook ups. We will head east or west on Sunday depending on the weather.
Thanks Jeff, for the excellent info. Now we will just see what the weather brings.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
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Offline Tour1

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2017, 03:33:04 pm »
Speaking for the doom & gloom side, even on a usually deserted road you may find crowds like a space shuttle launch.  The people who don't care won't be there but campsites & roadsides may get crowded, & as I mentioned before could turn into mob scenes if there's limited access.
A work buddy borrowed my 2" diameter telescope to give his grade schooler a taste of astronomy.  It's been used, with a good safe filter, on eclipses before, just not a total eclipse.  My scope hasn't come back yet and the guy  tells me his relative rented or reserved a cabin in Tennessee in the eclipse path so they might go.
It is good for kids, but maybe he should budget his own scope?
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Offline Tour1

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2017, 03:48:01 pm »
Just for back-up (or realism) a flexible and cheap plan is to find lodging outside the eclipse path and less than an hour or 2 from a mall or Walmart that is in the eclipse path.  On eclipse day head for the best weather but park near the bathrooms & food supply.  The street lights might hurt your view of the stars at mid-eclipse but they'll take a while to turn on and the sky may be clear because of pre-eclipse sun burning off haze.  It's really important to have eye protection when looking at the sun, even during the partial phases when it feels like dusk.  You can make a shadow image using anything opaque with a hole in it but the hole needs to be round and small.
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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2017, 04:43:11 pm »
My goal photography wise is going to be to get myself and my lovely spouse in the photograph. Doing research now on how to make that happen. I am fairly accomplished with my camera gear but this is going to be a challenge. Should be great fun.
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Offline Tour1

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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 05:16:17 am »
Wow, less than 100 miles from my house to the primary path...   Anyone want to bring their welding googles and hang out in KC next year?
Mike, There's a Walmart in St. Joseph, MO that is close to the centerline.
How are the non-interstate roads in case it looks like a 2 hour drive from there would make a difference?  As of now the MO/Kansas option is looking like a safe bet.
To the east there's a good stretch of I-70 running diagonally through the path, too.
Is the cell service good, or do you need to find wi-fi?
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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 10:27:37 pm »
If you miss this one there's another in 2024....https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024/

We will definitely have  a South Central event for this one! I can stay at home!
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Re: 2017 total solar eclipse
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2017, 12:08:00 am »
If you miss this one there's another in 2024....https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024/


We will definitely have  a South Central event for this one! I can stay at home!

I've got totality for both.  ;D
http://www.villageofmakanda.com/eclipse.html