Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Finally ... an eclipse

Allie: Where are my eclipse glasses, Mother?
Quickly! The sun's about to disappear!

(no worries - no cats' eyes were harmed for this photo! this was just a moody shot taken one weekend afternoon, but it makes a fitting introduction for this long-overdue eclipse photo gallery)

Here is what it looked like for us in Missouri, along the line of totality, August 21, 2017

As we set up, the clouds were still drifting across the sun, (well, okay the moon was, as well!) but they swiftly cleared.

See the red sunspots?

Totality itself was amazing, viewed through the lens. White streaks of light, waving around the edges ... they might have been thought a part of science-fiction movie magic. Nope, they're real.

The red parts are solar prominences. They're not flares, as they're still contained by the Sun's magnetic field.

During totality, the temperature noticeably dropped. It appeared eerie, otherworldly. And in fact, that's a far more apt description than one might realize.

The eerieness comes from the fact that you are experiencing dusk - but at a time of day when the wavelength of light is shorter - and your body instinctively recognizes this.

Normally at dusk, the wavelength of visible light is much longer, and it's coming through a lot more atmosphere on the horizon as the Sun sets or rises. Here, the light is straight overhead and the wavelength of visible light is shorter.

So it truly is otherworldly -- it might be said that this is what visible light might look like if you were standing on a planet much farther away from the Sun than our Earth.

This one, and the next, are probably my favorite. Who knew the Sun was so beautiful?

Finally, as totality reaches its end, you experience the Diamond Ring effect. A photograph truly cannot catch this brilliant flash of light that flares out at you.

At this point, the filter goes back over the camera and the photos return to their orange tint.

(unfortunately, we missed the International Space Station's epic photobomb -- clouds had obscured it!)

simulation of how things appeared during totality



  1. WOWEE! So impressive! We experienced about 80% totality, so although it was fascinating and the temps cooled a little bit, we of course didn't get the same ZAP as those in 100% totality like you. That's why we are already gearing up for the next solar eclipse in 7 years! I don't want to miss that again!

  2. I traveled about 180 miles to the path of totality in southern Illinois. One of the weirdest parts was when the sunlight returned, it came back from west to east.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I hope to be able to see the next one in Vermont. Very cool.

  4. Those are absolutely stunning! You did a great job of capturing the magic.

  5. guyz...yur mom did an awesum job oh gettin de eclipze on film ....we reel lee like number one with de sun moon cloudz !! way kewl :) de food gurl did NOE werk that day ..coz her waz two bizee watchin NASA's site....course noe one else in de buildin waz werkin much either !!! thanx for sharin :) ♥♥

  6. very cool....we didn't get nearly that kind of effect here

  7. Those photos are just amazing. We'll be in the path of totality next time around!

  8. My partner is an astronomer by training I need to show him these!!

    You did brilliantly!!

  9. OMC! These photos are amazing. Some of the best we've seen.

  10. Those are awesome photos of the eclipse! And you look beautiful, too, Allie!

  11. Absolutely awesome pictures. My humans saw the eclipse as they were visiting St Louis, but got no pictures. These are fabulous. Thanks for the explanation about the wavelength of light, too.

  12. Wow. Just WOW. I haven't seen any pictures this incredible - and believe me, I've looked (I couldn't find anyone that got the diamond ring effect)! I was hoping to find some shots with sun spots and either flares or prominences - and you have both. I even learned something about the wavelength differences at different times of the day - I'm an amateur astronomer and I didn't know that. Just totally cool! The only thing that could have made it better?!? Pictures of Mr. Maxie explaining everything ... my crush is completely without shame ... feed it at your own peril :)

    1. Should we schedule a one-on-one tutorial next time you're in KC? Maxie has agreed to cat'splain it to you himself ;-)

  13. Super, SUPER cool!!! I've seen your photos and countless others from pros and National Geographic-types...they can't hold an eclipse candle to yours!

  14. Is it just me, or does it look more like an eyeball than a diamond ring?

    regardless, absolutely spectacular. I hope I am able to get photos half as good when the eclipse comes to town


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