Preparations

After Monday’s full moon and lunar eclipse over Europe and Asia, the moon is waning into the morning sky; an ever thinning crescent rising closer and closer to daybreak until its shadow sweeps across the United States ten days from now.  We’re planning to watch the total solar eclipse from the rolling plains of Nebraska.

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Over the past several months Alec has been adding various gadgets for solar observation to his home observatory: including a tripod and a portable “InstaPrivy” shelter which will serve as an “office” for computer and webcam equipment beneath the intense prairie sunshine.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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We hope to observe the eclipse from a pre-arranged spot on a hill 15 km south of Tryon NE.  Although the fact that the moon’s shadow will pass over this place is a certainty, the weather never is.  There is a roughly 65% probability of clear skies on the day of the eclipse. These are the details on timings for “our eclipse”. The moon’s 100 km wide shadow will  move at 2700 km/hr from Oregon to South Carolina, which works out to about 2 minutes of darkness for any place that falls near the centre line of the shadow’s path.   The red “X” marks our chosen spot.  But if clouds are forecast, that could change.

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So … fingers crossed!

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