2017 Solar Eclipse musings #1

Last October I once again enjoyed the International Astronomy Show in Coventry, (I actually like it better than the London one, though both are well worth visiting).
I attended the Kate Russo lecture, which I enjoyed a lot, although finding out that Nashville – where I’m heading – isn’t the favoured site weather-wise for 2017 eclipse

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Kate Russo at the 2016 International Astronomy Show

chasers, did worry me. Should I have done my homework more? Homework never was my thing, I’m afraid, (y’know, I’ve seen stats saying anything from 60% chance of clear Nashville skies, down to a 44% chance. The smart people seem to have opted for inland site far west of Tennessee. Hmmm).
Anyway, Kate Russo’s book is a very welcome addition to my modest eclipse library.

Eclipsebooks

There’s no other eclipse book like it that I’ve seen. It examines the eclipse from the experiences and emotions of the observers. Many times, whilst reading it, I had that one of those put the book down and think about what you just read moments. So many people’s feelings mirrored mine, about how it feels to watch the sun go out, and how it affects you.
At her lecture in October, I tried lamely to make the point that people gathering en-masse to observe and celebrate an astronomical event, is quite unusual, but there’s another instance of it happening that I can bring to mind – the solstice gatherings at Stonehenge, where people gather to see the sunrise. (Yes, a sunrise is an astronomical event, and you won’t convince me it isn’t!). I’ve been to Stonehenge a few times to see this, and it’s quite a unique, uplifting experience. Much like the solar eclipse. I’d like to hear a seasoned eclipse chaser’s view on the events of a clear solstice morning at Stonehenge. I think a lot of the same psychological buttons are pressed.
Below are a couple of photos I took five years ago.
So, I’ve been on the phone to the travel company and settled the balance today, (ouch!), I’ve sorted out the insurance, looked into the visa situation, and in a couple of months I’ll be on my way to America. My fourth trip to the States, and hopefully, I’ll be seeing my third solar eclipse. Wow.

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Stonehenge winter solstice 2012

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Winter solstice sunrise 2012

 

 

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