850 N 4TH AVE. * WALLA WALLA, WA  99362
Walla Walla Office (509) 525-6510
Dayton Office (509) 382-2571
FAX (509) 529-6050

Office Hours: 7:30am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30pm

 

Phone: 800-994-4290 Tuesday, August 22, 2017
 
Home
Northwest Grain Growers
My Account
Admin Login
  
 
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Eclipse Watchers Vie for Viewing Spots 08/21 06:05

   Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing 
spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon 
blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and 
photographed eclipse in history.

   (AP) -- Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out 
viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch 
the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most 
observed and photographed eclipse in history.

   Eclipse-watchers everywhere --- and millions were expected to peer at the 
sun --- fretted about the weather and hoped for clear skies for the first total 
solar eclipse to sweep coast-to-coast across the U.S. in practically a century.

   As he set up telescopes, Ray Cooper, a volunteer with the Oregon Museum of 
Science and Industry in Salem, worried offshore clouds might roll in and spoil 
the less than two-minute show.

   "If it stays like this, it will be perfect," Cooper said on the eve of the 
big day. He has seen full solar eclipses before, but never so close to home, 
making this one extra special.

   With 200 million people within a day's drive of Monday's path of totality, 
towns and parks braced for monumental crowds.

   In Salem, a field outside the state fairgrounds was transformed into a 
campground in advance of an eclipse-watching party for 8,500, courtesy of the 
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

   "It's one of those 'check the box' kind of things in life," said Hilary 
O'Hollaren, who drove 30 miles from Portland with her two teenagers and a tent, 
plus a couple friends.

   Astronomers consider a full solar eclipse the grandest of cosmic spectacles.

   The Earth, moon and sun line up perfectly every one to three years, briefly 
turning day into night for a sliver of the planet. But these sights normally 
are in no man's land, like the vast Pacific or Earth's poles. This will be the 
first eclipse of the social media era to pass through such a heavily populated 
area.

   In a case of near-perfect celestial symmetry, the sun is 400 times the 
breadth of our moon and also 400 times farther away, so the two heavenly bodies 
look more or less the same size from our vantage point, and the moon can neatly 
cover up the sun.

   The moon hasn't thrown this much shade at the U.S. since 1918. That was the 
country's last coast-to-coast total eclipse.

   In fact, the U.S. mainland hasn't seen a total solar eclipse since 1979 --- 
and even then, only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness.

   Monday's total eclipse will cast a shadow that will race through 14 states, 
entering near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 1:16 p.m. EDT, moving diagonally across 
the heartland over Casper, Wyoming, Carbondale, Illinois, and Nashville, 
Tennessee, and then exiting near Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:47 p.m. EDT.

   The path will cut 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) across the land and will be 
just 60 to 70 miles (96 kilometers to 113 kilometers) wide. Shawnee National 
Forest in southern Illinois will see the longest stretch of darkness: 2 minutes 
and 44 seconds.

   Mostly clear skies beckoned along much of the route, according to the 
National Weather Service.

   All of North America will get at least a partial eclipse. Central America 
and the top of South America will also see the moon cover part of the sun.

   NASA and other scientists will be watching and analyzing from telescopes on 
the ground and in orbit, the International Space Station, airplanes and scores 
of high-altitude balloons, which will beam back live video. Citizen scientists 
will monitor animal and plant behavior as daylight turns into twilight and the 
temperature drops.

   NASA's associate administrator for science missions, Thomas Zurbuchen, took 
to the skies for a dry run Sunday. He planned to usher in the eclipse over the 
Pacific Coast from a NASA plane.

   "Can't wait for the cosmic moment MON morning," he tweeted.

   Near Victoria, British Columbia, where 91 percent of the sun will be 
eclipsed, science and math teacher Clayton Uyeda was going to watch from a 
ferry along with his wife. He said he was "expecting to have a real sense of 
connection with the heavens."

   He had similarly lofty hopes for his students if they could bring themselves 
to look up at the sky instead of down at their electronic devices.

   Scientists everywhere agree with Uyeda: Put the phones and cameras down and 
enjoy the greatest natural show on Earth with your own (protected) eyes.

   The only time it's safe to look directly without protective eyewear is 
during totality, when the sun is 100 percent covered. Otherwise, to avoid eye 
damage, keep the solar specs on or use pinhole projectors that can cast an 
image of the eclipse into a box.

   The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024. The next 
coast-to-coast one will not be until 2045.


(KA)

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN