Chasing the Sun

On Monday, September 21, 2017, my husband and I drove an hour and a half to be close to the total solar eclipse path going across the United States.  The last total solar eclipse across the U.S.A. was 99 years ago in 1918.  My husband wasn’t concerned about looking at the sun (although it was hard to resist looking).  Instead, he wanted to experience being in darkness for about two minutes in the middle of the afternoon.  He said we lived too close to the main pathway to miss it.  So we drove to Blairsville, GA, which is near the Tennessee border.  I didn’t really want to go, because I didn’t want to chance burning my eyes.  I have trouble with my eyes as it is.  But I wanted to do something Jan wanted to do, so I went.  And I’m SO GLAD I DID!  It was awesome!  So exciting!  We had to leave late in the day because my husband had to work that morning.  We were driving northeast and everything looked normal – a bright, sunshiny day.  Then as we got near the predicted eclipse time for our area, the atmosphere started looking like it was dusk.  There wasn’t much travel since we were traveling later than most sun chasers.  We could now see people sitting alongside of the road, alone or in groups.  We have a moon roof in our car, so at the last minute I thought to open it.  I looked up, but I couldn’t see the sun.  As the excitement grew from the atmosphere looking darker, we pulled to the side of the road.  I managed to lean forward and find the sun.  I was afraid to look too long, but even in my quick glimpse I could see that a dark spot was moving across it from the mid to bottom left.  Then just like THAT <snap!>), it was dark!  The automobile lights of the traveling vehicles had come on.  A little too late, I thought of getting out my phone to use the camera on it.  I took several photos.  It all happened so fast!  Two to two and a half minutes!  Here’s a few photos from my phone.  I have an iPhone 7+.  I put the setting on PORTRAIT, which magnifies the subject.

In this picture, I was psyched to see in the photo (not with my naked eye though) that I CAPTURED A PLANET ON FILM!  Woohoo!  NOTE:  The reddish object near the sun is a reflection of my drinking cup in the car since I was photographing through the glass of the moon roof.  I was not looking at the sun, but at the phone screen.  Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think to open the window!  This photo is when the moon had almost completely passed between the earth and the sun.  You can see the darkness in the top left corner where it is still blocking the sun a little.

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There could be a couple more planets showing in the above photo, I’m not certain.

Here’s the next photo where you for sure can see two planets.

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In the next picture, here’s the red reflection of my cup again, so ignore it.  The clouds have moved, and I think that might be the moon in the top left corner of the sun, now with reflected light from the sun on it.


The following photos are immediately right after the eclipse.  Forget about the red cup.


The white crescent shape outlined in blue is again a reflection of my cup.  Yi!!!



Did you notice the colors around the sun in the photo?


You can faintly see a couple of planets again.


Cloud covering, but you can see the night sky at 2:35 in the afternoon.




As we drove on into the old town of Blairsville, a lot of people were out on lawns, in parks, and making their way to shops after the eclipse.  I thought it was humorous that one lady was still looking up at the sky wondering if something else was going to happen.  I said to myself, “It’s over, Lady.”  There was a festive atmosphere of friends lingering to talk and ladies having coffee together at an outside eatery.  The town was abuzz with folks taking their time to get to the next item on their agendas.

Traffic was slow going back home since we weren’t the only ones leaving the area.  We stopped at a county diner to eat dinner in Cleveland, GA.  By then it was 5:00 p.m.  The place was packed, but we were able to get a table right away.  The people following us weren’t as lucky, as they had to wait a bit for tables to open.   

After we ordered our food, I took a look at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge on my phone to see what the next challenge is.  As I scrolled down, I got a HUGE surprise!  It was the cherry on top of the cake for this wonderful solar eclipse experience.  Check out my next post to find out what surprised me so.

Thanks for traveling along with me on this eclipse journey.


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