Enjoying the Eclipse
Detours in Life
While eclipses occur almost every year in one form or another, today’s solar eclipse is the first total solar eclipse visible across the continental United States of America since 1979. Over 12 million people live in the 70-mile-wide (113-km-wide), 2,500-mile-long (4,000-km-long) zone where the total eclipse will appear on Monday. Millions of others have traveled or are in route to spots along the route to view this celestial spectacular event.
News agencies are predicting this event will draw one of the largest crowds in human history, especially given that many media outlets will also be covering for those unable to witness the moon’s shadow passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but the halo-like solar corona in person. From its beginning at 10:15 PDT (1715 GMT) in the area around Depoe Bay, Oregon to the close of the totality blockage of the sun by the moon at 2:49 EDT (1849 GMT) near Charleston, South Carolina, this event will unite the world and most certainly the USA.
How one will “see” this event will depend upon location, more on that in my next post. For now, we need to realize that, in spite of our many differences, there are things that can unite us. While none of the over one million people living in its path will “see” the eclipse exactly the same, they will be united in experiencing its awe. The skies will either darken or go into a quasi-twilight setting and some stars and one or two planets will be visible.
Of course “seeing” an eclipse is never done with the naked eye. ISO-certified safety glasses are required or special box-lenses viewing contraptions can be used. Even animals can sustain damage to their eyes so, if possible, keep all animals indoor homes or barns during the two and a half hour event.
An eclipse serves to remind me that what we see is seldom the complete story. It is wise to remember that we need to take the time to prepare and explore our beliefs and opinions, just as people traveling to see the eclipse have done. Enjoy today’s phenomenal event in the sky but remember, what you see is not the complete story. We sometimes have to detour around the obvious to understand real events and see the truth.