Sunday, October 15, 2023

Did you see the eclipse?

Saturday's solar eclipse covered a good chunk of the Western U.S.

We got to about 80% coverage. The above chart was annoying because apparently it was using the Mountain Time Zone of central and southern Idaho rather than Pacific Time Zone of the northern part of the state. It indicated the eclipsed started at 9:09 am and peaked at 10:25 am. However we found out it started an hour earlier: Beginning at 8:09 am (Pacific) and peaking at 9:25 am.

Frustratingly, we didn't have (or couldn't find) the solar glasses we used during the last eclipse we experienced. Sometime inside six years and two moves, they disappeared. (Doubtless we'll find them next week or something similarly useless.)

A neighbor was watching the beginning of the eclipse as we returned from walking Darcy (around 8:15 am, which is how I figured out the time discrepancy on the above chart). We peeked through her glasses and I tried to get a photo using the solar glasses over my camera lens, but no luck.

Then I tried putting sunglasses over my camera lens. That didn't work either.

 As the eclipse progressed, I tried the old "pinprick through paper" trick, with marginal success.

So I turned to go inside the house, figuring there was no way to see the eclipse without resources. I turned around and saw ... this.

The leaves of our willow tree...

...were eclipsing on the white side of our chest freezer, which is on the porch. How handy is that? We were able to "see" the eclipse after all.

The eclipse caused the light the get kinda sickly faded, but nothing overly dramatic. I'm sure it was different for those in the path of totality.

Did you see the eclipse?


  1. We did watch the eclipse. We had a few pieces of glass from old welding goggles, so we could see it pretty good. Even got a picture, but I can’t figure out how to post it on here…

  2. Completely overcast here; it was a little dimmer outside, but that is it.

  3. My son spent months preparing for the eclipse here, where we had the total eclipse for about 4.5 minutes. The skies were cloudy as the eclipse began, but perfectly clear by the time it reached totality.

  4. I did! At the moment, I was suffering from being ill from the RSV vaccine, stumbled onto the ramp in nightgown, looked for about ten seconds in the old eclipse glasses, came inside and remembered I should have gotten a picture an hour later. Another is due in April, one even better. Linda Practical Parsimony. Two laptops are not working right.

  5. As Michael said above, welding helmets! You can get cheap handheld ones or welding goggles at Harbor Freight. Or at least you could last time I checked, which was a while ago.

  6. Was overcast in Central Oregon, but clouds were thin enough to see it with the eclipse glasses. What was weird was that this time we didn't see the the little crescent shadows, but did in the 2017 eclipse. Clouds must have made the difference.

  7. In southern Idaho where I live we got about 98% totality like the last one. It was partly cloudy but we could see it most of the time. I had the glasses from the last one and my oldest kiddo watched it a lot. No stores here even had the solar glasses this time around, nobody could manage to order any they just weren't available.

  8. If an eclipse ever passes through your area (the totality part), travel if you must, but you really have to see it.
    I was in Rock Hill, SC, and the eclipse center was going to be about 50 miles away. I talked my husband into going, and we are SO glad we did.
    What's the big deal?
    A complete eclipse - where the sun is completely covered - is about 1,000 times as dark as the 99% area. Just breathtaking. The temperature will drop quite a bit - where we were, about 17 degrees F, in just a few minutes.
    We filmed what we could, used our science probes to get data (we are both retired science teachers), and just watched the sight and other people.
    The little kids - even the teens - were enthralled. The teens did record the event on their phones' cameras, but weren't obsessed with texting to friends. All asked intelligent questions.
    The parents and kids had a never-to-be-forgotten day out.
    The April 8, 2024 eclipse will be in the area of where I live now. I will definitely see it, and am planning to take our grandchildren.