Check another item off the bucket list.
Saw the total eclipse today in O'Fallon Missouri just outside of St Louis. had totality for only 41 seconds, but it was still amazing. It didn't get much darker than a thunderstorm would, but it was a smaller window of totality whereas those who had two minutes of totality probably got more darkness. took some video of the clouds on the horizon which turned kind of a purplish red rainbow look but without any light behind them.
We were with cousins Joe and Dean and Larry and his wife at Jo & Dean's place. At our location we had 100% totality, meaning that the entire sun was blocked out, not just part of it, but because we were in an area where the eclipse lasted only 41 seconds we did not experience total darkness. We assumed that we didn't get total darkness because the 41 seconds window meant that even though the sun was blocked out we were in such a narrow band of the moons shadow that the light from the near horizon prevented more darkness. What we experienced was more like a stormy cloudy day than darkness. Had we been in an area of totality that lasted more than 41 seconds we probably would have been in total darkness except for the distant Horizon.
It was still a spectacular thing. We got to view the moon moving across the Sun, the totality, and the moon moving away from the Sun. Unfortunately, I set the camera up wrong and as consequence, none of the pictures that day came out showing the eclipse or the get together with family.
It was a very amazing event and we've learned some things about a total eclipse and I intend to be prepared for the next one which will occur in 2024*, and this time the path of totality will come from the southwest crossing Arkansas, the boot hill area of Missouri, and all the way up and crossing Indianapolis.
With what I know now and with many relatives living in the Boot Hill area of Missouri and myself living in Indianapolis it should be easy to find a prime viewing area and getting a group together to view it.
Following the eclipse, we stayed a while and then we had to hit the road taking Troy back to Poplar Bluff.
In general, it was a very packed three days with a lot of driving and a lot of fun: the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan, the Port Huron float down on the St. Clair River, and then the total eclipse. I have every intention of re-doing all three activities again.
I was able to check off 3 bucket list items: toe dipping in two of the five Great Lakes, the Port Huron float down, and viewing a total eclipse.
* On April 8, 2024 (another Monday), the moon's shadow will sweep across Mexico and North America in another total solar eclipse. The path of totality begins in Mexico, passing through Texas as it moves northeast to Maine.
"It's going to go from Mexico to Texas, into the Ohio River Valley, upstate New York and New England," Alex Young, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Like in 2017, the 2024 totality will cross Carbondale Missouri. It typically takes 375 years for a total solar eclipse to pass over the same place on Earth twice, but in this rare occurrence, Carbondale will experience two within 7 years. NASA officials have said.