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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Remembering the Joy before the Deluge

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, August 31, 2017/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, art and design, environment, adventure


                    Photo-animation of the Total Solar Eclipse, 8-21-207 (credit: NASA DSCOVR satellite)

It worth remembering a joyous occasion many Americans experienced during the total eclipse of the Sun in August. Satellites gathered photographs at each stage of the event watched by celebrating crowds along the path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina.

'Big Data' sets of solar information were collected by NASA, NOAA, and other Earth orbiting satellites as well the geostationary Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), positioned ~1 million miles from Earth. From this vantage, a constant view of the sunlit Earth is available and the satellite was ablt to observ the Moon’s shadow move across the entire USA. The agency produced a photo-animation from DSCOVR images. Other satellites including the Terra Earth observer and Suomi polar partnership with NOAA and the Defense Department gathered even more data. At the last seconds' before totality, sunlight was seen passing through valley's on the Moon’s limb and the Sun's corona began to appear creating the 'diamond ring' effect. The light phenomenon, called Baily’s Beads for its 19th Century discoverer, becomes visible just before and just after totality. A photo-sequences shows the entire eclipse timeline as it progressed thought the totality.


               The 'Diamond Ring' Effect & Timeline Sequence of the Total Eclipse, 8-21-2017 (credit: NASA0

Using more 'down to Earth' communication's media, National Public Radio produced an audio/visual postcard from regional celebratory gatherings illustrating the joyous festival-like atmosphere occurring everywhere the solar totality passed over.

Such powerful images, commentaries, and just general good feelings were replaced the following week by another natural event that NASA, NOAA, and thousands of individuals observed and sadly experienced.



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