Well, the day is here! The Great Eclipse is upon us and it is so cool to see everyone so excited about something “sciency”! Yeah, I’m gettin’ my geek on today (ha). Seriously, this is an incredible day here on the plateau and I sincerely hope you take full advantage of this historic phenomena.
For today’s post, I put together a timeline of things for you too look for. I hope you read over this and make note of what to look for. It all happens really fast once totality draws near.
It may seem like it take forever for totality to near, but as we get into those final seconds before totality, there’s a lot to look for in a short period of time!
A few minutes before totality
Look for mysterious stripes of light and shade caused by the sun’s rays being distorted by Earth’s turbulent atmosphere. This is the same kind of turbulence that causes the stars to twinkle.
A few seconds before totality
Look for the approach of the moon’s dark shadow by concentrating on the northwest part of the sky. It will be surging toward you at 30 miles per minute and may first appear as a deep gray, tinged with hues of red and orange. Any clouds between you and the shadow will appear to darken dramatically. Totality is nearly at hand.
Also in those final seconds before totality, you’ll see little points of light around the moon. This effect occurs as the mountains on the moon reach into the thin crescent sun and block parts of it from view, while valleys permit the last remaining rays of sunlight to form glittering spots, or beads, at the edge of the moon’s black disk. This will last for only a few moments.
It’s time to remove your glasses! The very last thing you’ll see before complete totality is what is referred to as the diamond ring effect. This is the final bead of light. It forms a small explosion of light that resembles a diamond on a ring. This is when you’ll hear those around start oohing and ahhing. Ha
This is what you’ve been waiting for and what those in the 99% or less will not get to see. The whole landscape plunges into darkness similar to that of a full-moon night. Stars begin to pop out and a couple of planets will become brightly visible. The temp drops about 10 degrees and you may feel a slight cool breeze. The corona of the sun is now in full view. The light beams out for millions of miles, like streamers.
To the right of the sun, look for Venus. It will be that very bright object that looks like a bright star. Look to the far left, that’s Jupiter you see shining bright. Look even closer and you’ll see some stars shining through. Stars…in the afternoon!
Look around the horizon. It will resemble a sunset that surrounds you. When have you ever seen sunset/rise colors on the northern or southern horizons? Never, until today!
Finally, another explosion of light as you will see the diamond ring effect reappear. This is the warning that you need to be preparing to put those glasses back on. The eclipse will seem to end much quicker than it began.
For even more, download the free Eclipse Safari App!