The Great American Eclipse of 2017 has come and gone, Very quickly in Columbus Indiana, where we had a 92.6% eclipse. When it became noticeably darker (about 2:15 PM EDT), everyone came outside to see what they could see, which wasn’t much considering we had no eclipse glasses. Don’t ask me why I’ve been talking about this eclipse for 10 years and wound up on the day of the event with no glasses… but necessity is the mother of invention as they say, and I found that by putting on 4 pairs of good sunglasses layered together with zip ties, I could view the sun and it didn’t seem to burn my retinas out or inflict noticeable brain damage. We had periods of clouds and sunshine but there plenty of opportunities to check it out. By 2:27 Columbus was at the darkest point of the eclipse and by 2:45 it was pretty much back to normal. I must say that it was worth the wait, but there was an air of sadness as I was constantly thinking about my brother Dale, who was the first person to mention to me that there would be a total eclipse in the USA in 2017 and for many years we talked about. He really wanted to see it, but unfortunately he passed away in the fall of 2015. After our eclipse was over I went inside and watched the network coverage and I must admit that they did a fabulous job… especially ABC… and WISH-TV in Indianapolis. WISH-TV had a continuous stream online and the coverage from their stream was excellent! While I was watching coverage on TV, I was in contact with my niece (Aimee) in Greenville South Carolina, which was also in the path of totality. Aimee was sending me fantastic pix of the event. It was almost impossible for me to get away to see it in Hopkinsville Kentucky as I planned, but between watching a 92.6% eclipse from my back yard, watching the television coverage and getting live updates and pictures from my niece, I’m pretty satisfied. As I mentioned in other blogs, the next great eclipse for the USA will be on April 8, 2024. And eve more importantly, Columbus Indiana will be in the line for totality!
I must admit that I’m getting up there in the years and at this point, there are no guarantees of tomorrow, let alone 7 years. But if I can hang on that long, I’ll get to see what Aimee saw today, and as a bonus I’ll get free glasses compliments of Aimee. She’s sending me theirs. The only real problem with a total eclipse in Columbus Indiana on April 8th, 2024… The weather! How many sunny days are there in early April ion Indiana? Not very many and that’s not an exaggeration. After living through nearly 65 April 8ths, my guess is that 70% of them have been cloudy. And I don’t mean cloudy like today (scattered cumulous clouds), I mean “April showers bring may flowers” cloudy days. At that time of the year we frequently go several days without seeing the sun. That means there’s not a good chance we will have clear skies to view the eclipse of 2024, but even if it is cloudy, that means we will be in darkness for nearly 4 minutes, beginning at 3:07 PM and the totality here will be nearly 4 minutes long, as opposed to the 2 minutes and 40 seconds at Hopkinsville, Kentucky today (which was one of the cities with the longest duration in the USA). Click here for more info about the 2024 eclipse.
Today’s event was great, even if I didn’t make it to Hopkinsville, but in 7 years it’s going to be even better!