This map shows the "path of totality" across the United States. "Totality" is when the moon is 100% in front of the sun. Areas outside of this "path" can see varying degrees of the eclipse, but you have to be within the path in order to see full coverage. Guess which city is fully in the path!? As a completely naive non-scientist I didn't realize how important this was, but it was crucial! Until the eclipse reaches totality, you can't look directly at the sun without the eclipse shades. (I tried it with a super brief glance upwards, and it was really painful!) During totality, because the moon is completely eclipsing the sun you can safely look at it, and it was completely mesmerizing. The sun turned into a black circle with rays of light like a halo around it. It was indescribable to stand on my doorstep, looking up at this miracle of science and astronomy. It made me feel very small and minute, but also very blessed and an important part of the cosmic world. Big thoughts! Totality lasted just over a minute, and the instant the moon crept to the side and released the sun's light, it was again impossible to look at with bare eyes. It was a spiritual experience for me - I felt surprisingly emotional and can't really explain why. It was just extremely cool and like nothing I have ever seen before. Especially since I didn't even have to leave my house to experience it!
|totality, with a black sky|
|the moon starting to cover the sun|
This is the closest picture I found online to what I saw (minus the jets). I just can't get over how amazing it was to stare at the SUN being blocked by the MOON with this perfect black circle and white halo, with a darkened sky. It was so amazing!!!
This is the picture I took when the sun was totally eclipsed. It's still so bright that it doesn't show any black on my wimpy camera, but imagine that a black circle is over most of that dot, and you know what totality looks like. It's breathtaking. My camera wouldn't capture how dark it really was outside - imagine a twilight/thunderstorm kind of dark and that's what it was like. Crickets started chirping at 1:03 in the afternoon.
And then I noticed that my gum was very fitting for the occasion.
Thanks, sun-moon-and-earth for doing your eclipse thing right where I live! I'll never forget it!