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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

Total Solar Eclipse

Photo of the Week (August 20th, 2017)

(archive photos of the week here)

Who said the photo of the week had to be a bird? This week, there can be no other choice for photo of the week.  On August 21st, a total solar eclipse was seen along a path that stretched from coast-to-coast in the U.S.  The path of totality actually went directly over the town where I grew up in southern Nebraska, and my son and I had planned to head there to see it. However, 2 days before, the forecast looked cloudy for that part of the country. We made last minute plans to view the eclipse in eastern Wyoming, where weather forecasts were much more favorable.

We made the right choice! It was an 8-hour drive, and we ended up getting stuck in heavy eclipse traffic near Lusk, Wyoming, but we have perfectly clear skies and wonderful, spine-tingling views of the eclipse.  We had read about the stages of a total eclipse, including the "diamond ring" effect that occurs right before totality.  Given the irregular topography of the moon, right before totality, the sun may be almost completely blocked, yet still be visible through low spots and valleys. At first, multiple points of light appear around the edge of the moon's disc..."Bailey's Beads".  For a few seconds right before totality, however, you typically see one bright point of light, with a continuous band of a glowing solar corona around the rest of the moon, providing the diamond ring effect. 

I didn't take many photos of the eclipse.  Totality was only a little over 2 minutes, and after taking some shots of totality, I had to drop the camera and just stand there, slack-jawed and in complete awe over what we were seeing. I did manage to get some decent shots of both totality, and the diamond-ring effect shown below.

Total Solar Eclipse - Near Lusk, Wyoming


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