Wednesday, August 23, 2017

2017 Eclipse

Monday marked the first total solar eclipse viewed from the contiguous United States since 1979. Despite having the eclipse on my radar since December when I visited Carbondale, Illinois (essentially the official eclipse city of America), I almost failed as a parent. It wasn't until Thursday that I decided to get solar eclipse sunglasses, but at that point, they were all sold out. Fortunately, a friend had an extra pair, so all was good in the world.

During lunch on Monday, I tried to explain to the kids what the eclipse was and used coins to demonstrate how we would see the moon blocking the sun. Between that and the looking at the eclipse map from Sunday's Washington Post, my six year old (The Moose) was excited. My three year old (Pedro Tulo)? Not so much though he liked playing with the coins.

At 1:00, I turned on TV to see the eclipse coverage on ABC. They had correspondents set up at multiple areas across the county starting with several locations in Oregon. After a few minutes of this, The Moose asked if there was any baseball on TV. There was not, so The Moose and Pedro Tulo watched an episode of Bubble Guppies.

Living in the Washington DC area, we expected to get approximately 81% coverage of the sun at the peak time of 2:42pm. I decided to take the kids outside (with eclipse glasses in hand!) around 2:00. It was at that moment that Pedro Tulo had a meltdown. How dare I make him wash his hands after going potty? Basically, meltdowns by a three year old for no apparant reason is much more common than being able to see an eclipse!

While we (meaning mostly The Moose and me since I don't think Pedro Tulo was able to see much beyond the brim of his hat) saw the eclipse, we missed out on the peak viewing thanks to clouds from about 2:20 until after 3:00. Still, I found this very cool. Plus, it was neat seeing other neighbors being outside also looking at the eclipse. It was a neat bonding activity.

My friend was in Carbondale and sent me some pictures from someone he was with. These are truly incredible.

I like how Metropolis, a place I also visited during last year's hockey road trip, celebrated the day.

So the next total solar eclipse is on April 8, 2024 visible from Texas to Maine. I'm between Texas and Maine! While this is still seven years away, I think I'd like to see a total eclipse if it is within driving range. Fortunately, Passover starts on April 22nd in 2024, so you don't have to have Matzah with the eclipse. Unfortunately, the eclipse is on a Monday again, and the kids will be at school. Couldn't the sun and moon change their schedules to have an eclipse occur on a weekend?

Anyway, I already put January 2, 2024 on my calendar to purchase eclipse glasses!

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