Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Great American Eclipse

September 13th, 2017 by The Junior Ganymede

As seen by friend of the Junior Ganymede, Kent Budge.

If you are impatient of the geologic ramblings, you may skip to the good stuff here.


Comments (8)
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September 13th, 2017 06:45:09

September 13, 2017

One heckuva telescope.

The JG is fortunate in its friends.

John Mansfield
September 15, 2017

I finally sat down and read Kent’s account. Here’s a short description of our view from the western part of South Carolina that I wrote to my son:

We experienced the eclipse Monday afternoon as planned. We were on the south shore of a long, skinny lake, a river that had been dammed at the downstream end. An hour and a half before totality, the moon bit a tiny notch out of the sun. As the notch grew, the rest of the sun formed a crescent, and the children said the sun looked like the moon. A half hour before totality, with more than half the sun covered, the ambient light had a different quality, like late afternoon light rather than mid-day, but not like later afternoon because shadows were short and the light was not oblique. At this point, places where sunlight poked through the trees and usually creates a speckled pattern, instead of speckles the light fell as narrow crescents. One person called them snakes of light. In the minute before totality, all that was left of the sun was a thin arc, and that arc grew shorter and shorter until there was a single point of light, and then that point extinguished. Suddenly we were in twilight for two and a half minutes. I didn’t notice, but the children said crickets started chirping. The corona was a faint white streaming out from behind the black moon; in a couple spots it was red. Venus was visible, even in the minute before totality, but I couldn’t see any other stars. Everyone cheered and was jubilant. Then a spark of light appeared, and totality ended. The children asked when is the next eclipse.

As for the next eclipse, that will be in the spring seven years from now, right where you are now. Maybe you will want to visit then.

September 17, 2017

It was one of the strangest things I have seen.
I saw it in far western Idaho, near Weiser. I could see a few planets during totality, but no stars.

I was able to see the shadow snakes. I would like to know what interference makes them.

Looking forward to the next eclipse in Texas.

John Mansfield
September 18, 2017

Since I couldn’t see stars, I wondered if those at higher elevation could. If sounds like Weiser’s 2,100 feet was still too low, but Rexburg’s 4,800 feet thinned the atmosphere enough.

Regarding the shadow snakes, it’s a form of pinhole projection. The leaves in the tree mostly block any direct sunlight, but there are many discrete little apertures where direct rays from do pass through. This results in overlapping cones of light projecting onto the ground beneath the leaves. During the partial eclipse, each of the holes through leaves is projecting a crescent onto the ground instead of the whole disk of the sun. The overlapping of the crescents on the ground makes for the snaking pattern of the ensemble. As the partial eclipse entered its last minutes, the crescents I saw became quite thin and more distinctly arc-shaped. Another neat thing was to see them flipped around after totality.

September 20, 2017

It appears that Friend Kent could use our prayers and kind thoughts.


And, no, “you idiot” is not a kind thought.

September 20, 2017

Me oh my!

September 20, 2017

Accidental injuries are God’s way of forcing us to take time off.

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