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USA's Total Solar Eclipse April 8th, 2024

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USA gets a Total Solar Eclipse this year. The eclipse travels from Texas to Maine, cutting through a large portion of the heartland, giving the South, Mid-West and East Coast an opportunity to drive to the Eclipse. Anyone planning to go to the Eclipse this year?

After looking at various options, I've personally decided upon Cleveland, Ohio. But with such a large stretch of the country getting hit with the eclipse, there's probably plenty of locations near you.
 

the54thvoid

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I hope you get clear skies. And mind your eyes. :cool:
 
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I hope you get clear skies. And mind your eyes. :cool:

The smallest pack of eclipse film I could find online from a reputable source was a box of 25 viewlenses.

I'm actually planning on selling them at $5 or maybe $10 during the eclipse ($2 each, so a total of $50 for the box of 25). Whatever everyone else plans to sell them at, its not like I actually have enough to setup a big shop or something. But I figure someone there will have forgotten to get glasses.

I got enough friends/family going to use ~10 of the viewers. But with ~15 spares I need to sell / hawk them.

Worst case scenario, I can't find anyone and its all a waste. But $50 isn't _that_ big of a deal, the hotel prices were all jacked up way beyond normal, even a few months ago. (So really, its the Hotels I'm wanting to complain about more so than this eclipse film stuff).
 
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1711746254343.png


The GFS numerical model can predict cloud cover, with ... some degree.... of accuracy. Cloud cover is apparently the hardest thing to predict however. So don't rely on this prediction too much. Black areas should have fewer clouds than white areas.

I was looking at the GFS model for today or tomorrow, and its not very accurate at all. Still, I guess its important to note that "some" unreliable models are ready to try-and-predict the Eclipse weather conditions.

It sounds like most meteorologists are waiting for the more accurate models to come in. (But these more accurate models can only predict ~3 or so days into the future, not ~15 like the GFS model).

WashPo has its weather prediction as well:

1711746632888.png



----------

I don't have much faith in any model more than a few days out. But might as well document these guesses here for funsies.
 
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everyone is hyped up for a car!!
 
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Austin Texas area here, hoping for clear skies and not so crazy traffic... the traffic part probably is going to be bad, since its bad anyways without an eclipse :)
 
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We saw the one a few years back in Casper WY


It was an amazing experience, truly worth the effort to go. It s beautiful, surreal, quiet, serene and we met quite a few awesome people in a field on the side of the interstate.

If we hadn't experienced one before we would be traveling for this one.
 
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I saw an (annular) eclipse back in elementary school, will definitely be watching this from NY :)
 

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Does it show at all in Europe :)
 
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Yeah, looks like links to that website die rather quickly. I left it up as a citation, but I guess I'm going to have to do screenshots.

Basically, it looks like the old-data gets deleted regularly. It might just take up too much disk-space for them. Today's predictions are available though.

View attachment 341274
so the white stuff is cloud cover?
 
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whoever catches sight of the eclipse, share some pics!

I've never seen one other than boring flat images/vids online.
 
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whoever catches sight of the eclipse, share some pics!

I've never seen one other than boring flat images/vids online.

I tried taking a bunch of pictures last time.

No digital camera can take a picture of the full effects of the eclipse. The craziest thing is the visible corona of the sun, giant barely-visible tendrils of the sun extending out twice or three-times the sun's size, clearly connected to the plasma. These pictures are plentiful, but its not the full effect on your psychology (the idea that this corona is always there, but hidden by the brightness of the sun is mind-opening).

1711820415769.png


Above is a HDR picture of the Corona from some reporter back in 2017. This is only visible with clear skies and during an eclipse. But if we miss out on this, no biggie... a lot of the "big" things I felt last time were all around me. Not something you can easily take a picture of. Note that the corona moves, it feels alive, like a giant wisp of fire millions of miles long.

There's a sudden darkness, like the color of the world around you gets sucked out. When you take a picture of it, it "just looks dark", but its a poor idea of the psychology of it all. Its a kind of darkness that's eerie. Your typical nightfall has this bright -> red sunset -> darkness that you've seen your whole life. The darkness of the eclipse sucks out color and disappears. Its very weird.

Honestly, I'm not even planning to take pictures this time. Just going to enjoy the moment. I took over a dozen pictures last time and not a single picture "felt" like the eclipse. My pictures of the corona were completely washed out, you need some kind of special equipment to capture the beauty and majesty of the corona.

so the white stuff is cloud cover?

Yeah. I wouldn't trust the GFS model too much, but its "better than nothing". I'll be posting better cloud models as the day draws closer. GFS's only real advantage is that it can go as far out as 15-days of predictions. But GFS has very low probabilities of being actually correct.

Better predictions are only available 2 or 3 days before the Eclipse. Consider the above GFS to just be a crapshot entirely as far as predictions go.
 
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Don't know if anyone is aware that it goes along the fault lines and that future navy maps show parts under water.

Then you have national guard and stuff they are not telling us then they want to fire rockets at the moon.

Recipe for disaster.
 

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I'm hoping to spot some planets during this eclipse, should be good times.
 
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Wash. Po's latest forecast (April 4th).

1712267325698.png



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GFS's forecast (April 4th)


1712267406983.png


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Starting tomorrow, we'll start to get the 72-hour short-range models of cloud-predictions, which should increase the quality / accuracy of these forecasts dramatically. But we're still outside the 72-hour window of the eclipse (~3pm April 8th EST)
 
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1712467686452.png


Latest forecast. Looks like Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana... and then a bit further northeast, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine all get very sunny skies.

The other states have likely clouds to deal with.
 
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I had a great time!

Did a "downtown Cleveland" Eclipse. Sat at Voinovich Bicentennial Park, great weather... very slight clouds (still saw an awesome eclipse), but was not able to see the crazy 2017-like Corona this time around (too many clouds I guess).

I did see ~3 planets. I was talking around and people think it was Jupiter (to the left), Mercury (very close to the sun), and Venus (to the right and down).

The "Approaching Shadow" effect is possible to see on the clouds, though it was more subtle than I expected. The clouds would darken and fade into the background as the "center" of the eclipse approached, giving a more ominous foreshadowing of this event. (In 2017, the darkness kind of overcame me before I knew what was going on. But this time, the clouds kind of prepared me for the darkness).

Anyone else see it?

-----------

Cleveland was fun too. Rock and Roll hall of fame, Masthead Brewing Co. was great (fine food, but good beers). We walked from the park back to Tower City, checking out the city on foot before heading back to the Hotel. The Hotel was full of people discussing / theorizing what we saw (ex: I didn't know what the dots were. Some people thought it was Baily's Beads, but I'm pretty sure what I saw was either Mercury or Mars, based on someone else's theories).

Very mysterious for sure, I'll need to go to Wikipedia to see what all of these things are and better theorize / understand what the heck was going on during this amazing 3-minute experience.
 
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Is Earth light enough to illuminate the moon like that?

That's an HDR picture from 2017. I don't remember the eclipse looking like that back then.

HDR is a technique where the cameras take multiple pictures to get "deeper blacks" and "lighter lights", extending the visual range of the camera, at the tradeoff that its blurrier / merged-picture kind of look. So its exaggerated compared to what the human eye can see.

The "real" part, for me of that picture, is the corona. The "ring" around the sun. The wispy flames that extend millions of miles. I couldn't see the corona yesterday in 2024, too many clouds. But in a clear day like 2017, it was possible. I won't forget what I saw, though it might be decades before I see it again.

So yeah, HDR is a bit "fake", its not perfectly what I remember seeing. But its closer than a lot of other photos.

------------

All the effects you see in that picture are exaggerated. Its a lot more muted in reality. But in "reality", its so muted that without HDR-like techniques, cameras literally can't see it. Its an image that exists on the borderline of what humans can see, but what normal cameras are still unable to take a picture of due to how faint it is.
 

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So yeah, HDR is a bit "fake", its not perfectly what I remember seeing. But its closer than a lot of other photos.

HDR is less fake than people might think. Cameras use it to replicate what we see. Our eyes can see, for example, white clouds and a blue sky with a foreground in colour. A camera set to capture the colours of the sky will darken the foreground. If you want the foreground in perfect light, the sky gets washed out. HDR rectifies that. In some smartphone applications, it goes too far. You'd also be surprised what a proper digital camera can pick out. RAW files contain data even our eyes can't pick out, and it's not AI trickery. Just a good sensor.

I can easily believe the image from 2017 is genuine. Just a little beyond human perception but easily capured on digital.
 
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