Eclipsed Thoughts

    My history, as it were, with eclipses includes a long list of lunar eclipses and a shorter list of solar eclipses. The latter began while stationed in Laredo Texas as an Air Force Medic with seeing an 80% partial solar eclipse in 1970 – center-line was south in Mexico. The last sort of total, an annular solar eclipse,to cross the U.S.A. put Kansas City within the path of annularity, and more personally, on my birthday, May 10th.

   This year you would have to be living in a cave to not be aware of the “Great American Eclipse” on August 21st. As this graphic shows the the Moon’s shadow path makes a diagonal run from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic Southeast coast. The shadow path passes across the Kansas City metropolitan area with the center-line about 25 miles north. The majority of Kansas City and suburbs to the south will experience a partial eclipse. In Lee’s Summit where I live, (but not where I will be viewing the eclipse from), 99.986% of the Sun will be obscured, covered, by the Moon. Close but not total! The skies will darken but not at all like what those where it will be total will experience. A longtime friend of mine described the difference this way: “It’s like looking at an ice cream cone vs. actually eating it.”

   I will be viewing from within the path of totality at Briarcliff Elementary School in North Kansas City. There we will have approximately 85 seconds (1 minute 25 seconds) of totality while a few miles north of us the duration of totality increases up to 2 minutes 40 seconds. I will be with another NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, Betty Paulsell, and about 350-400 students. However my focus (pun very much intended) will be spending much of my time operating two DSLR cameras imaging the eclipse from start to finish.
   Using the PC software “Eclipse Orchestrator“, developed locally by the way, I have put together three short videos that show the sequence of stages for the eclipse as viewed from within the path of totality and just south of the path of totality from Penn Valley Park in Kansas City, and then from Legacy Park in Lee’s Summit.
   Below the video links there are some pictures about solar eclipses.

    -Click on this link to go to the Daystar web site for the ‘slide off/on solar filter, eclipse glasses and other things you may need for viewing the eclipse.
    -Click on this link to go the Thousand Oaks Optical web site where you could purchase screw-in solar filters for DSLR cameras.
    -Click on this link to read online or download a free guide to the eclipse courtesy of NSTA. (PDF).
    -Click on this link to go another page I wrote about the eclipse.
    -Click on this link to go another page I wrote about imaging the Sun.
    -Click on this link to go the Time and Date web site to see what the eclipse will look like at your location.
    -Click on this link to go the Eclipse Countdown web site to see specific information about the eclipse for your location.

   A Video Simulation of the 21 August Total Solar Eclipse as viewed from Briarcliff Elementary School

   A Video Simulation of the 21 august Total Solar Eclipse as viewed from Penn Valley Park in Kansas City, MO

   A Video Simulation of the View of the 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse as viewed from Legacy Park Lee’s Summit, MO