The Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017,  2:36PM. I began planning for this moment 5 months ago. I frequently checked NASA’s website for any updates because I wanted to see it for myself.  Even if it only lasted 2 minutes and 21 seconds, I wanted to be able to say that I witnessed it. A total eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the Moon completely obscures the bright light of the Sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. During any one eclipse, totality occurs at best only in a narrow track on the surface of Earth and this event was no different. The cone of totality passed through a 70 mile swath of the country in what was the most amazing natural phenomenon I’ve ever witnessed. Tallulah Falls, Georgia was our destination.

On the way, there were numerous traffic signs warning drivers not to stop on the side of the road. Traffic was so heavy, I feared we’d miss the eclipse. But at the same time, part of me was giddy that so many people cared enough to take the time to see it.

As 2:36PM approached only a narrow sliver of the sun was present. The temperature dropped a noticeable 3-4 degrees. Crickets and grasshoppers began chirping and then darkness encroached within 2 seconds. The feeling was euphoric. The stars immediately became visible in the sky. The corona of the sun shined against a dark blue sky with the faintest hint of purple. It was something I’ve never seen before. I was overcome with emotion. I’d watched several videos on YouTube, just to get an idea of what to expect. But the videos didn’t do the eclipse justice. You had to be there. If you ever have the opportunity to see a total eclipse in the future, its a show you will never forget.

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