The Odessa Record -

Solar eclipse wows crowds all across America


August 24, 2017

--Photos courtesy of NASA/Joel Kowsky.

The "diamond ring effect" appears twice during an eclipse, just before and just after totality (complete blocking of the sun's light). The unevenness of the lunar surface allows the light to peak through a deep valley on the moon and produce this effect. The phenomenon lasts only a very short time, but many photographers were able to catch the scene and post their photos online. This image is from the site of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The total eclipse of the sun that took place Monday of this week was thrilling for most Americans to see. Although the very best viewing (a total eclipse, with 100 percent coverage) was in northern Oregon, the sun achieved between 91 (Spokane) and 97 (Walla Walla) percent coverage in eastern Washington during the eclipse. The previous total eclipse visible from the United States was 38 years ago on February 26, 1979.

The International Space Station traverses the sun at about five miles per second in this time-lapse view during the solar eclipse, Monday, August 21, 2017, near Banner, Wyo. A total solar eclipse moved across a narrow strip of the lower 48 states from Lincoln Beach, Ore. to Charleston, S.C. A partial solar eclipse was visible across all of North America and parts of South America, Africa and Europe.

Hordes of people descended upon the towns of Prineville and Madras, Ore. for the opportunity to see a total eclipse, where the sun goes completely dark except for a ring of light around it.

In Odessa, the light got dimmer, which was especially noticeable indoors. Don Sheldon, manager of the NAPA store, made his way up and down the First Avenue sidewalks with sunglasses and a welding helmet that, in combination, gave the proper level of eye protection for looking directly at the sun. He allowed everyone who wished to do so to look at the progress of the eclipse through them. Even with more than 90 percent of the sun in the moon's shadow, the brightness of the visible sliver of the sun was enough to hurt the eyes if anyone stared at it too long.

The next total eclipse that will be visible in the U.S. will take place in 2024.


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