Total Solar Eclipse 2017 August 21

Billed as the "Eclipse of the Century" for the first time since 1979, on August 21 2017 the moon's umbral shadow swept across continental USA touching the ground, firstly in Oregon and lastly over South Carolina. The eclipse would be observed over the entire North American continent, Central America, the northern half of South America and even the western British Isles would see the eclipse commence just before sunset. Hundreds of millions of people would therefore be immersed in the moon's penumbral shadow that day. More significantly, the path of totality would pass over, or close to, heavily populated towns and cities in the US providing the opportunity for many 10s of millions of people to witness totality, with maximum eclipse of 2m41s over Kentucky. 

I decided to have my base in Denver, Colorado, well to the south of the track that passed through Wyoming. With around 900 others I took an early morning departure on the 21st to travel the nominal four hour journey north by coach to private property in Douglas, on the centreline in Wyoming. Totality there would last 2m29s.
 
Here is my full report. It was a stunning and highly emotional experience and one that, like all of my total eclipse experiences, will live forever in my memory. 

 

Some of the hundreds in the group preparing, watching, and waiting for totality

The group of ASV members and my photographic set up

Five minutes after first contact, the eclipse was definitely underway!

First contact +30 minutes - about halfway in

About 5 minutes to totality; conditions start to change rather rapidly now

Second contact! Totality begins - the last rays of sunlight shine through deep valleys on the moon.

A sequence of images at second contact taken roughly half a second apart (L-R). The moon rapidly covers the last traces of sunlight revealing the glory of the totally eclipsed sun

Shortly after the beginning of totality - the inner corona with subtle structures and two beautiful prominences 

A minute after third contact, a thin crescent pokes through the clouds
Third contact diamond ring. Totality is over, but look at the chromosphere and those prominences!
Here I am viewing totality through binoculars. Note the colour of the moon's umbra and the sunset colours on the horizon
Here I am with the partial phases added afterwards
Safely viewing the partial phases and a view up the hill.
A pinhole projection of the partially eclipsed sun onto a map of the area in Wyoming

 

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