Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Great American Eclipse - Kathleen

Hey guys!!!

So I hope you can tell what this post is going to be about. If you don't, I will tell you.

On August 21st, 2017 at 1:21 P.M. Central Standard Time, in Carbondale, Illinois, the moon covered the sun and blocked out 100% of its surface. The exact point of  the shadow reached earth and traveled over the United States of America. The 70 mile wide shadow traveled a path through Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Caroline before ending at the Eastern most tip of Africa.

I was lucky enough to travel to Camp Ondessonk to view the Eclipse. Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic summer camp, is south of Carbondale, Illinois. Camp Ondessonk was directly on the line of totality which meant that we had 2 minutes and 39.7 seconds of totality.

First contact was at 10:45 am so we were out in the field with the astronomers at 10:30. It was incredible to be able to look directly at the sun through our glasses. At about 10 minutes to totality (1:11pm) the shadows became very sharp. Everything looked like a picture with the contrast turned up. Thunder clouds were illuminated on the horizon. It was incredible to see the orange sunset and then the thunderclouds.

This is essentially what it looked like minus the ship and the sun (or lack thereof, heehee) was bigger.

At 2 minutes until totality the light disappeared. In 30 seconds it went from mid-day light to about 8 pm dusk/twilight.

Then totality hit.

My words will be nothing compared to the real thing.

The first thing you see is the diamond ring. This is the last little bit of the sun's light escaping the moon's coverage. It actually looks like a massive diamond ring. Then you see Bailey's Beads. This is actually the last bit of the sun shining through the valley's and craters of the moon. Then the shadow of the moon races over you and 140,000 mph. It's so fast that if you don't have the right elevation and space you won't see it. All I noticed was that the dark sky, got even darker drastically. Then it all happened backwards. And it got brighter.

It's amazing how life changing two minutes and thirty-nine point seven seconds without the sun can be. All the night life came out, the horses went inside.

The next eclipse is in 2024. You HAVE GOT to find a way to get to this eclipse. Camp Ondessonk will be doing another session. My words mean nothing, that picture means nothing until you see it. You can google all the pictures you want to, watch all the documentaries on Netflix, and listen to all the stories, but you have GOT to have your own experience. And when you do, don't take a picture to post on Instagram. I know how many comments it will get and the likes, but it doesn't matter. Will you have seen it and taken it in?

Have an amazing Labor Day!!


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