The 2017 Great American Eclipse will be a total solar eclipse. Sometimes the Sun and Moon distances are such during a potential total solar eclipse that the Moon's angular size is slightly less than the Sun's. This results in a total annular eclipse when the Sun is not completely "covered" by the Moon but a ring of light is seen around the Moon. This is a total annular eclipse. Linda and I went on an annular eclipse expedition for a total annular eclipse on 20 May 2012. You need solar filters for this type of eclipse. Unlike totality during a solar eclipse the annular eclipse lets through lots of sunlight that can damage your eyes.
Here is a video of that eclipse.
My interest in astronomy began at a very early age. I can remember laying outside on a cold winter's night with a flashlight and a star chart trying to determine the relationship of the sky to the chart. I was probably 10 years old. I kept at it and I eventually figured it out opening a whole new world for me. I was 11 years old when I started working delivering bread with the local baker. I would save my money and one of the first things I bought was a small 80 power telescope. I was 13 and there was a total solar eclipse across Canada on 20 July 1963. Although totality was not visible from Rhode Island the partial phase was. I set up my telescope and with my Father's camera took my very first eclipse photograph. Here it is with the note I wrote on the back of the photo.
Here's a sample from several of my past eclipse expeditions and also the reaction of some of the observers who experienced the eclipse. It is a definite mood changing event...a humbling experience...the Sun isn't supposed to go dark during the day...what's happening?
Enjoy this blast from the past. The motivation for Papa's 2017 Great American Eclipse Expedition. The actual recording of my comments after the eclipse. This excerpt is from an education CD I produced about eclipses. I am thinking of offering them for sale to help defray the cost of the expedition but it was made using 1991 technology and I discovered will not play on anything beyond Windows XP.
Here's the path of the Moon's shadow during the 2017 Great American Eclipse. It goes from "sea to shining sea" hence "The Great American Eclipse". There are may considerations for choosing the ideal point on the center line to view the eclipse...weather/clear skies are the most important. I selected Douglas, WY for a number of reasons...weather conditions on the day of the eclipse looks really good...but then again it's weather we're talking about and it is a little over a year from now. The odds look good non the less!
The reservations for the 4 RVs that will be used to transport my kids, grand-kids and scientific equipment have been made. We pick up the RVs next 16 August 2017 to pack them up and get ready to leave the next day. The reservations have been made for the 2 stops along the way. Laura and Santos picked the route and stops...all agreed. We arrive at the base-camp in Douglas WY on 19 August 2017
Papa (Prof. David G. Iadevaia) has been planning this particular Great American Eclipse Trip for 26 years...since the last Great Eclipse in 1991. Due to circumstances beyond his control his children were unable to travel to LaPaz, Mexico with him for that total solar eclipse...vowing to himself that he would one day be with his children to experience a total solar eclipse. The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 is that eclipse and as an added bonus not only will his children and their spouses be with him but his grand children will be there as well. This blog will document the journey from a past wish to a current reality...Papa'sGreat American Eclipse Expedition!