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Tuesday 22 August 2017
This weekend, Mom and I (and Audrey and July) traveled north to Copperhill, TN, where we watched the Great American Eclipse of 2017 from the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church.
We had intended to watch from McCaysville, GA, where my grandfather once considered buying a grocery store. The GA/TN state line bisects the town into McCaysville and Copperhill. Both were in the path of totality, and since the sun didn't care which side we were on, we didn't either.
If you didn't see the eclipse in totality, know that the first thing that happens as the sun disappears is that the temperature of the light gets wrong, like a failing fluorescent light. Gradually it gets darker (and cooler), until it looks (and feels) like twilight. Then the sun disappears, and you can take off your sun glasses and see some of the brighter stars.
Here are some pics I took of the process about 5 minutes apart. The final pic is during the blackout. (Note that Mom is looking at me, not the sun. The steeple shadow will give you an idea where in the sky the sun was.)
(Also note that the light on the right side of the building in the third pic came from the two streetlights which switched on just before totality. Mom's not in that last pic because she had moved over here.)
I do not have a picture of eclipse itself. My camera wasn't up to the task. You can see plenty of better pics elsewhere. It's not like true night. Despite what you see in photographs, the sky never really goes black. It turns a beautiful shade of royal blue, and the sun's corona is clearly visible as a white halo.
Some call it "unbelievable" or "miraculous." I wouldn't use either word. But it is pretty cool looking. And it's certainly worth a look in person if you get a chance.