That Was Awesome

22 08 2017

Guest post by Puggg

Yeah, well, what can I say?  It’s the kind of event people interested in these kinds of things travel far and wide to see, and one went directly across my county.  I said in the last post I wrote that I had eclipse duty, but the only enforcement that had to be done was keeping traffic in line and in order, and even at that, that wasn’t hard.  Eclipse crowds aren’t exactly hip hop rap music crowds.

One thing that surprised me when it happened, and not long after, but really shouldn’t have, the more I think about it after it happened, is that the darkness set in quickly and instantly as the moon moved over the last of the sun, and then once the moon moved away more than 2 minutes later, it suddenly got bright again, of course that was after a slow steady darkening while the moon was eating up the sun and then after a slow steady re-brightening after the instant re-brightening.  I had someone tell me that the sun’s light is so powerful that if only even 1% of it is exposed, that’s still 10,000 times brighter than a full moon.  Another mystery I had is why the horizon circling around me in all directions was way brighter than the solid blue color overhead.  I asked, and someone told me that the reason for that is that the horizon at any point around a total eclipse is at a point on the ground under a point in the sky where the eclipse is not total, meaning that point’s sky would be getting enough of a sliver of a crescent sun for its sky to be blue.

Now, I’m sure you all want to know about our regular host.

He has relatives that live in the rural part of southern Illinois.  I won’t say where, but they were just outside the narrow band of the total eclipse.  Anticipating traffic issues, he and his uncle left on Sunday afternoon and stayed at that relative’s house, and then yesterday morning, again anticipating traffic issues on the interstates and beaten paths, they took two lane roads from that house south to Carbondale, instead of I-57.  And then again back when it was all over, and after eating dinner there, he and the uncle headed back home yesterday evening.  I talked to both our normal host and the uncle yesterday late in the evening.  The uncle told me that, along with how well everything turned out and how great it was to look at, what he’s hoping for and his therapists are hoping for is that his doing some light traveling to do something relating to one of his long time hobbies and doing it in a place where he lived and worked for a year before I knew him and then also seeing some relatives he generally only sees at Christmas time (I mean that rural southern Illinois house) would start to get his brain going.  As for our normal host, he told me he does remember that year, and many of the things but not everything about it.  About the eclipse itself, along with all the rave reviews that I would have expected he would have, he wanted me to tell you all that he thought the corona was rather small and disappointing at least at the time he saw it, though when I saw it, I wouldn’t have known what to compare it to, he’s the amateur astronomer, not me, (I think Corona is beer), and one other thing is that there was a star seen very close to the eclipse, to its left.  He wanted me to tell you that star is called Regalus (if that’s how you spell it), and that a total eclipse is the only way you could see it this time of year from the ground, because this is about the time of year the sun has a conjunction (spelling again?) with that star.  He also wanted me to tell you all that since he’s now seen a total eclipse of the sun and recently saw both transists (?) of Venus, and several great eclipses of the moon, that he’s lived a pretty charmed astronomy life.

The uncle tells me that most likely, our regular host will spend the entire upcoming weekend at his own home, in the hopes that his spending a lot of time and sleeping for a few nights in a place where he actually lives but still doesn’t quite remember triggers memories and triggers memory restoration.

With any luck or grace, we’ll do it all again in April of seven years from now.




6 responses

22 08 2017

This is what I like to hear.

22 08 2017

Puggg, it’s people like you that make this world go round. Thanks for great work you do and also kind words about the folks watching the eclipse (Some of my police friends can be a bit cynical at times, but I don’t blame them! They are just venting). Most of all – you are truly a great friend to our Blogmeister. God bless you and hope to meet you and the Blogmeister at the next one in 2024. BTW – please tell the Blogmeister that though he has lived a charmed astronomy life, that he ain’t seen nothin’ yet and needs to keep looking’ at the stars! And his 2020 prediction about the (non) election is better than a full solar eclipse! In my opinion, our Blogmeister needs to write a book on President Trump to explain everything to future generations.

23 08 2017

Gonna be quite awhile before he gets back into the kind of mental shape where he could write a book.

I would like to think my even tempered nature (okay, I’m boring as hell) makes me a good cop.

23 08 2017

Am I crazy?

Driving around after sunset, I saw a tiny sliver of a moon sinking on the horizon to the west. I looked up at the moon and saluted it and congratulated it for the good show.

8 09 2017

I would like to think my even tempered nature (okay, I’m boring as hell) makes me a good cop.
Driving around after sunset, I saw a tiny sliver of a moon sinking on the horizon to the west.

14 11 2017
Astronomy News During My Involuntary Sojourn | Countenance Blog

[…] As Norm told you, and I can certainly confirm, I spent eclipse day as close to the point of greatest extent as practically possible.  And it was my best single day in the time period between the “accident” and now.  Just like I was able to remember my uncle’s address and land line phone number before my own address and sail foam number, because the longest most deeply ingrained memories are the ones that came back first, even my damaged addled hobbled brain was zeroed in on eclipse day, precisely because I’ve known it was coming since I was 11 years old, I waited 29 years to see it, and I damned well wasn’t going to let a major concussion get in my way.  And yes, I fully intend on being around to do it all again in about the same place on the map in six and a half years. […]

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