August 21, 2017 Jackson, Wyoming
My wife Andrea and I were really lucky to be in Jackson today. We had been trying to get to Jackson most of the summer and well here we are.
I knew that Jackson would be a prime location for today’s total eclipse and my attitude leading up to the event was somewhat casual. I remember the partial eclipse from 1979. My father made a pin-hole viewer. It was interesting then to see the moon overlay the sun. Even this morning we were non-committal unlike the estimated 100,000 people in the Jackson Hole here to witness the event. Around 9 a.m. people were walking down our street headed to the hiking trails. A few of the hills rise up 300 meters or more so those folks were getting a really clear view.
When we were at the Smiths Grocery on Sunday I saw eclipse glasses for 99¢ so I bought 4 pair. Why 4 pairs? I wasn’t sure of the quality of the glasses so I figured I’d wear 2 pair. As it turned out these Sun Catchers (100% SAFE for Solar Eclipse Viewing. Conforms to and meets Transmission Requirements of ISO 12312-2. ) were safe to use.
Sometime after 11 a.m. I took a glimpse of the sun and the moon had just begin covering the top right corner of the sun. So we sat up some lawn chairs and watched the eclipse. Up on the hills you could see hundreds of people watching including a couple of folks we found with camera zoom at the summit of Crystal Butte.
I guess it was around mid-day when we heard the crowd of kids next door counting down as the moon slid in to totally cover the sun. Wow! What an experience. The ambiance was like you experience say around 7 or 8 o’clock in the evening – dusk. The temperature dropped at least 5 degrees. And you could see stars in the middle of the day. Really fascinating. Approximately 3 minutes later the sun started peeking out over the moon and probably by 1:15 p.m. things seemed normal.
Andrea used a Sony Cyber-shot camera to record the eclipse starting just at the beginning of the totality. She didn’t have any special filters or even a tripod but the record of the event is what is important.