The Great American Eclipse – A Conclusion

Jeff Goldader is in his fourteenth year as an Upper School Science Teacher at Baldwin, teaching Honors Physics in 9th grade, and AT Physics and Astronomy in 11th and 12th grade.

eclipseIn August, “The 701” featured a short piece I wrote about the “Great American Eclipse.”  That event is now history, and I thought readers might enjoy reading about (and especially seeing!) the outcome of the trip my oldest son and I took to the path of totality in South Carolina.

In my “bio” for the previous 701 piece, I wrote, “This will be his third total solar eclipse, which he will be spending desperately dodging the clouds in South Carolina.”  Well, that was the literal truth.  On the afternoon of August 20th, forecasts of clouds at our hotel in North Charleston, and at our three backup sites, led us on a search for a place to observe near Columbia, SC.

On the day of the eclipse, our 90-minute drive first resulted in our being rained on after the start of the eclipse, but before totality.  But, after I’d given up hope, the clouds cleared 10 minutes before totality.

The above image is a compilation of a few of the images we took through my telescope, showing (left to right) the last sparkling bits of the disappearing Sun, known as “Bailey’s Beads,” at the start of totality; a specially processed image during totality showing the solar corona, and the famous “diamond ring” at the end of the total phase.

Ten minutes after totality ended, it poured rain.  But we didn’t care.  My son left for his first day of college two days after we returned home.