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Catching An Eclipse Event

Catching An Eclipse Event

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, August 6, 2017/Categories: natural history, photography, video, space science, art and design, environment, adventure

                                   Total Solar Eclipse (credit: GIPHY)

It is no big secret that a total eclipse of the Sun will cross the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, August 21st. The numbers of Americans who live within 100 miles of the 70 mile-wide 'zone of totality' may be more than 100 million and there is excitement everywhere. Visitors to the US are expected from countries around the world to witness one of the greatest natural wonders unfold.

While the solar eclipse itself is very well known, less so are festival-like activities in each state along the path planned in celebration. There is a wine-tasting festival at wineries in Oregon and an "eclipse clock" in Jefferson City, Missouri markging the minute-by-minute countdown to eclipse day.


                             State Maps from NASA of Total Solar Eclipse Available for Download here 

Three examples of some very cool solar events you might choose to take part in over the eclipse weekend:

1. Global-wise: You are invited to become part of a first-of-its-kind "citizen science" project, gathering scientifically valuable data from the total eclipse by uploading images and video to: EclipseMega, the movie. Originally proposed by the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley, the now organized global project: "will gather images of the 2017 total solar eclipse from over 1,000 volunteer photographers and amateur astronomers, as well as many more members of the general public and stitch these media assets together to create an expanded and continuous view of the total eclipse as it crosses the USA". This massive 'big data' cache will become reference material for expanded knowledge of solar phenomenon and be made available for future eclipse observers.

2. Wyoming: The eclipse will cross the entire state of Wyoming. Along with the adjacent Idaho, Wyoming will have the highest probablitly of 'clear skies' during the entire progression of the solar event. Casper, in the center of the Cowboy State and sitting directly on the line of totality, has organized its own eclipse festival but other special eclipse activites are planned statewide. They include traditional Native American celebrations in the Wind Rivers region; Grand Teton mountain guides have organized climbing trips to the top of the peaks---those choice viewing spots have been 'sold out' for months---unfortunately; and bottles of small-batch 'eclipse whiskey' have been made by the craft-bourbon distillers at Wyoming Whiskey. Some of the special sipping whiskey is still available but at the distillers in Kerby, WY.


3. Nashville: The famous Tennessee music city is directly inside the path of the eclipse and will experience one of the longest periods of totality in the country, almost 3 minutes. Nashville is also the largest city in the US the eclipse will cross as it moves east towards the Atlantic coast. As fitting for a town with as much musical and entertainment talent as Nashville, the city has organized a series of events including concerts, parties, and BBQ's over a weekend of celebrations. They've even created a "playlist" of songs to celebrate the eclipse including popular tunes by Dolly Parton, the Beatles, and Johnny Cash, among others. Nashville's food haunts will likely be offering some of their best southern recipes in celebration.

So wherever you're at, try to locate an opportunity and participate in an eclipse event. You will be amazed at one of nature's most awe-inspiring wonders and have a good time to boot!



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