Solar Eclipse 2017

Like most of North America, I watched the solar eclipse on Monday, and am now posting about it on social media. And why not? Even though eclipses (partial, total, lunar, solar) are not rare occurrences, a total eclipse happening across a highly populated area is a bigger deal.

I was in an area of about 80% totality, and two things stood out to me about this event: one, how dark it got, and two, how dark it didn’t get.

The daylight changed, and everything faded – but not the way it does at sunset or as clouds roll in. To me, the outdoors simply looked like a computer monitor with the dimmer on – still clear, colors still the same, just not as bright. And at the same time, as I was marveling at the dimness, I also marveled at how well-lit everything still was. The sun was 80% covered by the moon, and yet was still powerful enough to illuminate the world. The birds did not go to sleep, the street lights did not come on.

This dichotomy of darkness and not-darkness has been written about many a time, I’m sure, as poems and songs. I toyed with trying to write a poem, but nothing’s come of it (at least so far). The event of an eclipse is also a great story prompt (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, anyone)? And I’m sure many people who traveled to see the eclipse came away with a great story of people they met and adventures along the way.

And finally, here is a (very lousy) picture of my view of the eclipse. Please go to NASA’s site or other professional photographers’ sites to see decent pictures! But anyway, it was an event I enjoyed, and I’m sure one way or another it will find a way into my writing.

Do you have any eclipse stories from this year?

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