Sunday, August 27, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

It didn't seem all too long ago we were blogging about the last solar eclipse that was visible in our area. Five years flies by!! My then 3-year-old is now 8, and the newbie is now 3!

A solar eclipse is where the sun is blocked by the moon. A total solar eclipse is where the sun is completely blocked by the moon. A total solar eclipse in a particular area is fairly rare. The last one in the US was 1979. There's another one in 2024 crossing over Texas. Always take proper precaution when viewing eclipses, especially when viewing them with children.

We knew the eclipse was coming. We even have family in the Salem, Oregon area. We also knew that 1. Oregon isn't 100% predictable for August weather (I moved into college in Portland on a super rainy day somewhere around the 20th of August many moons ago). 2. School would already be in session for J (and missing a few days during the second week of school for something that didn't seem to be a guarantee of a good view seemed a little irresponsible). 3. We hate crowds and traffic.

Anyways, ~75% seemed good enough for me. The elementary school bought each student a pair of eclipse glasses and took the kids out during extremely well supervised (by parents/adults) increments to view the different stages, and they had a fun coloring/maker-type activity displaying the different phases of the total solar eclipse. At my daughter's preschool, the younger classes (of which my daughter is in) did not participate in the special event though they did talk about it.

There was an impromptu viewing party at my work. I even made my company's social media page while viewing the eclipse. That's pretty fun. Here are my personal pictures from the event.

The glasses were on, but the sun was hiding behind the clouds over my left shoulder (As it started, the sky was foggy in our area and super clear in Oregon, go figure).

Finally a part in the clouds as the eclipse just started (cell phone picture taken through the solar eclipse glasses):

Our maximum coverage from the Bay Area, CA. Since it was cloudy/foggy to begin with and only ~75% coverage, we didn't see too much noticeable change in light.

Yes, I work at a pretty nerdy place. Someone grabbed a colander (lazy or not, this is a great substitute for a pinhole projector), and I suggested propping up the glasses in the picture.

Explore more:
NASA has a great rundown of the Total Solar Eclipse and what you can do the next time one is in your area.