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Monday, August 27, 2018

The Great American Eclipse Remembered

Note: This is the article I should have written one year ago, so now it has become a chance to revisit the past as we so often do on anniversaries. So let us take a look back on August 21, 2017...

“The Great American Eclipse” of August 21, 2017, started its journey across the continental US on the Oregon coast, crossing the town of Corvallis (home of my brother and his wife) about 50 miles inland; this was to be our spot for viewing the eclipse as it dovetailed nicely with our vacation plans to visit them in the summer.

My first thought was to bring a small telescope and capture the eclipse close up, but soon realized that I didn’t want to get hung up on all the work and equipment needed - I've seen many different eclipse photos over the years and I didn't feel like duplicating what has been done before. I was more interested in just experiencing the eclipse as it happened via the naked eye, as well as everything around me - something you can't capture from close-up pictures of the event. I settled on using a simple GoPro camera (which has a wide-angle perspective) and recording a video of the eclipse starting about 20 minutes before totality and ending 20 minutes after, right from my brother's backyard. What we have below is a short excerpt from that video around totality:

August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse from Corvallis, Oregon

Although nothing can really replicate 100% of our eclipse experience, I think this video successfully captures some of the feeling of what it was like during the eclipse - it was truly (for a lack of a better description) "awe-inspiring", definitely the best astronomical event I have seen in my lifetime. If you never have seen one "in person" it is highly recommended.

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