Total Eclipse Musings
Between totality, and anything else…
After viewing the totality of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st, 2017, I realized an important lesson:
When comparing the totality experience, and any other degree of coverage, you either experience 100%, or not.
I believe a partial eclipse is also a beautiful natural phenomenon, but I can empathize with people who were in view of the partial eclipse who expressed a bit of disappointment with regard to their expectations, which were likely blown out of proportion due to the amount of hype the entire event received. I noticed I also had some feelings of being slightly “unimpressed” during that phase, which upon reflection, is pretty silly. However, when the moon completely obscured the photosphere, it was an experience greater than my expectations. In a split second, the eclipsed disc went from unbearably bright and only viewable through special filter glasses, to being viewable with the naked eye. The sky very suddenly got dark enough to see two planets. Solar prominences created a beautiful halo around the dark disc. The glow in the clouds in all directions suggested a sunrise or sunset-like light. The ambient light was incredibly beautiful and eerie. Dusk creatures started flying around. Somebody saw a bat. The cicadas started singing louder. And the singular moment when the sun became visible again on the other side, a phenomenon known as the diamond ring, was unspeakably gorgeous. As if the entirety of the photosphere leaked out from a pinhole and completely covered the formerly dark disc within a fraction of a second.
The eclipse was a temporary slippage into an alternate reality.
My mind could not logically process all of the phenomena. It was truly a cosmic experience!