Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Future Has Arrived! 1991 News Report Mentions 2017 Solar Eclipse

I was working on digitizing and archiving some old home movies from VHS and I came across this news report my dad must have recorded off the TV. It appears to be a Weather Channel report about the July 11, 1991 total solar eclipse that was visible from Mexico. I love how the voice over mentions the upcoming eclipse in 2017 - that means the future has arrived!

This is also an agonizing reminder that the country is preparing for the eclipse and I've barely started planning. I have the date on my work calendar, but I don't have any concrete idea of where I'll be going or where I'll be staying. I'm leaning toward Missouri right now, but I need to do more research. Luckily, I've found plenty of great resources online such as I hear there is a huge gathering at an airport in the western part of the state, that could be a cool experience to see it with a ton of other people at once.

2017 eclipse map of missouri
Image by Michael Zeiler,

I'm excited, and also trying to plan out what I would realistically want to do to document the occasion. I've read over and over again that if it's your first total solar eclipse, you should not try to photograph it or mess with any equipment, just let yourself go and soak up as much of the experience as you can. I've heard about stars coming out in the day time, the appearance of sunset on every horizon at once, and the collective ecstasy of hundreds of people watching at once. So I might set up a camera with a solar filter to shoot it before totality, but I don't think I'm going to mess around during the extremely precious 2 minute experience.

2024 total solar eclipse map illinois indiana
In 2024 I'll have another chance to photograph a total solar eclipse, and this one is coming to my own backyard! Image by Michael Zeiler,

I also noticed that in 2024 another total solar eclipse is going to be coming to me here in Indiana, and I will literally be able to observe it from my backyard. Assuming good weather, that would be my best chance to try to photograph totality.

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