Here's a gorgeous image of the total Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21st, 2017, taken from a mountain top in
Chilhowee, Tennessee. I took this through BAADER AstroSolar® Safety Film 5.0 using 1/800 sec
exposure and ISO200 on a Canon T3i with a 70-300mm USM telephoto lens set at 200mm. Go to
the rest of my eclipse pictures here.
This was my first total Solar Eclipse. I had originally planned *not* to take any pictures, as I had heard
many say that taking pictures detracts from your very first experience. However, I did some research and
found an application called "Eclipse Orchestrator", a great program by Moonglow Technologies that automates
the image acquisition process during the eclipse, freeing you to watch the eclipse as it was meant to be watched.
I must say the anticipation of the event, without doubt, heightened the experience. The appearance of two sets of
sunspots made viewing the partial stage that much more exciting. The temperature, which had been 101 degrees Farhenheit
before the eclipse began, steadily began to decrease as totality approached. The most obvious impending
sign of the climactic event was the gradual descent of an ethereal, subdued lighting over our surroundings.
When the time finally came, the transition was extraordinarily fast (as you'd expect with the shadow moving
at almost 1500 mph!). Suddenly, within mere moments, the shadow of the umbra flowed across the trees and mountains in front of us,
darkening the world below us. In the distance, clouds were suddenly illuminated as if by the setting of the sun.
Bailey's beads shimmered and totality began. The temperature had dropped to a mere 81 degrees Fahrenheit. I looked
up, and saw a black hole in the sky: Mars a hand distance to the right, Mercury a hand distance to the left, Venus
about three times that distance to the right, and Jupiter about twice that to the left. It was dark around the hybrid
body with stars around, with the rest of the sky in varying shades of blue. I had originally planned to look at the
eclipse with my binoculars, but I never got the chance. I stood mesmerized by the event with little time to take in
what was constantly changing before me: fine coronal tendrils streaming from the surface of the Sun in flux as I watched
without looking away. And before I knew it, totality came to an end. I must say I felt underwhelmed, after hearing
so much about this life changing experience. Has it changed me? I can say this. As time goes on, the memory of that
singular event continues to linger. My mind's eye continues to return to that brief moment in time to when a black hole formed
in the sky and the sun was devoured by its negative image. The coronal tendrils continue to stream forth from the star
that is my sun, and I can't seem to take my eyes off it.