Eclipse August 21, 2017

Eclipse. The earth and moon spin in their eternal orbits around each other and around the sun, always throwing shadows off into space. Sometimes the shadows cross paths with one or the other celestial body, and today the moon travelled directly between the sun and earth as seen from North America.

The zone of totality crossed far north of Las Vegas, but Liz and I headed north last night to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge and camped at Upper Lake Campground. We were only a bit more than an hour north of town, but after a relaxing morning watching the few early-migrating birds (Yellow Warblers, House Wren, Western Grebes), we settled in to watch the eclipse. Direct evidence of planet-sized events is inspiring.

Stormy weather enveloped Las Vegas and all points south of us, but we were right on the edge of the storm system, so we got to see most of the eclipse. Early on, we were under clear skies, but as the eclipse progressed, we got more and more heavy clouds. We could see rain just south of us.

Being so far south, I was surprised that we had such a narrow sliver of sun during the height of the eclipse. We made a pin-hole viewer but mostly used our solar glasses (purchased for the last eclipse) and even shot a few photos through the glasses. As the clouds moved in, we were able to look directly at the sun and take photos without the filter.

Eclipse170821.jpg

Progression of the solar eclipse as seen from Pahranagat NWR

 

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