Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21
in the United States of America or airborne
#eclipse2017, #tse2017, #2017eclipse
The point of greatest eclipse (totality phase during 2 min 40 sec) lies in Kentucky. However the point of longest duration with 2 min 41.6 sec is located in southern Illinois. Although there is not any material difference between points of greatest eclipse, maximum eclipse, and corrected longest eclipse, local boosterism will likely be intense with claims and counter-claims about the best location. More importantly, people have to understand and adopt a strategy for eclipse success factoring weather, mobility, etc. These points of longest eclipse are almost meaningless in that context, nevertheless I can envision people crowding on a farm at the cloudy point of longest duration refusing to budge even if clear skies are reachable. The eclipse whose path crosses 14 states —not just the 12 or 13 only that many wrongly advertize—, one of them, Montana, very slightly in a mountainous area so that nobody staying in this state is likely to witness the unimaginable beauty of totality, will likely create a new "Generation Eclipse" much like the March 1970 did.
Seeing the eclipse from the ground in its surrounding natural environment is the way to go and get the full experience, particularly if it’s from your home country. However for those willing to have a slightly different experience, I’ll propose one eclipse flight over the Northern Pacific Ocean (one special flight in a brand new Falcon 5X with a zenithal window was another possibility, but the certification of the aircraft has been delayed). It’s unlikely that I will offer any ground tour for a group as organizing one on an individual basis is straightforward. Moreover I’ll also have to take care of some complex scientific measurements with huge constraints.
Average cloudiness in August (courtesy of Jay Anderson)
Centerline Average cloudiness (courtesy of Jay Anderson)
Stereographic projection map with semi-duration outlines
Eclipse simulation using Solar Eclipse Maestro
Using special eclipse glasses is mandatory to observe solar eclipses while they aren’t total, that is when the Moon doesn’t completely blocks the Sun’s harmful rays. Do not use any other means while looking directly at the Sun because they aren’t safe for your eyes and you could even end up suffering from blindness on the long term because of the damage done. However, when the eclipse becomes total and only during that short period of time, that is for a few minutes at most if you are positionned inside the totality path (see graphic on the left), you can remove your eclipse glasses to watch the magnificent solar corona and other phenomena. To protect your eyes please buy your quality eclipse glasses from trusted suppliers such as Rainbow Symphony or American Paper Optics
and reputable resellers who can also provide some nice customized eclipse glasses.
A working group, to which I belong, dedicated to the science and public outreach of this unique event has been organizing yearly workshops since 2012. The next one will be held in Carbondale, Illinois on June 10 and 11, 2016.
AAS TSE 2017 Outreach Workshop (Greenbelt, MD, in April 2012)
AAS TSE 2017 Outreach Workshop (Columbia, MO, in August 2014)
AAS TSE 2017 Outreach Workshop (Portland, OR, in August 2015)
The tool has been tested with success on a variety of devices from iOS to Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Nevertheless please report any problem you may encounter and don’t forget to provide a screenshot and a detailed description.
Then to activate the tool click on the lower icon on the left side, the one looking like a blueish shooting target . Once activated you should be prompted to accept being geolocated, so answer positively and the map should center on your current position and track your movements (it will work as well on a desktop computer connected via an Ethernet cable and even better via Wi-Fi). To deactivate the tool and stop the tracking click again on the button. Depending on your device you may have to authorize geolocation in the general settings as well. For example on iOS or OSX you should do so in the privacy settings. The detailed circumstances bubble is disabled while the auto-tracking geolocation is activated in order not to clutter the screen too much.