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Racing to Glimpse a Solar Eclipse

I had missed the news that there’d be a partial solar eclipse, at sunrise, visible in the eastern North America states on Sunday morning. But in the 15 minutes after waking, trying to figure out which clock has the right time, I log on and learn of it.

Since it’s still dark, I know it hasn’t occurred yet. But since I haven’t had coffee, it’s a bit difficult to quickly comprehend exactly when official sunrise occurs in southeast Harford County.

Some research and then calculations on UT, EST, EDT — math that shouldn’t happen before coffee — and I realize I have about 15 minutes to get to a spot where I can actually view the sunrise. That spot is a grocery store parking lot only about four miles away but a gazillion traffic signals stand between. Since I’m still in sleepwear, I toss on pants, cover up with a fleece jacket, and tie on sneakers.

Dashing outside, silently already praying to the traffic signal gods to give me green lights, I see the horizon is thick with clouds. What are the chances of actually seeing a sunrise? Is the chance worth giving up a Sunday morning where I could linger in bed?

I go for it and am rewarded. Here are pictures. A really neat ‘wearing “sun” glasses’ effect happens at the end.

My view, pre-sunrise, from a parking lot. Only a sliver of view available due to a thick bank of stratus clouds:my view_1

The sky is brightening. There’s a chance I’ll catch a glimpse of the sun. Will it be enough to see the partial eclipse?

there's a chance_2

At least I’m in the right spot, a direct view of where the sun will rise:

sun starting to rise_3

The view opens up:

view opening up_4

And I get it the solar eclipse. The oval at the bottom is the moon:

solar eclipse_110313

Another view:

another view_solar eclipse_110313

The sun rises behind the bank of clouds, cutting off the view of the top of the sun, while the moon eclipses it at the bottom, creating a really neat ‘wearing “sun” glasses’ effect:

sunglass effect_solar eclipse_110313

And it’s over – with the rising sun now hidden behind the cloud bank:

it's over

I wander into the grocery store for a warm cup of coffee and a pastry — thrilled for the start of my day!

Is there anything you’ve done to capture a particularly special moment of Nature?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. avian101 #

    Cool! 🙂

    November 4, 2013
  2. Thank you avian! I’m happy you stopped by 🙂

    November 4, 2013

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