Eclipse: 92% was no big deal

(Updated Aug. 22, 2017)

Denver at 11:47 am, the peak of the 92% eclipse.

Denver at 11:47 am, the peak of the 92% eclipse.

And here’s the same view at 11:32 am the next day, with no eclipse in progress.

I knew we weren’t going to get a total eclipse in Denver, but I thought our 92% would be notable. Meh, as you can see above, not so much. Apparently the sun is so bright that even if 92% is obscured, the remaining 8% can make up for most of the loss. Things looked a little “off,” like maybe it was late afternoon, or a very light cloud cover had moved in. Slightly flatter light. Slightly cooler temperatures. Crickets started chirping. But the pets didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, as some had said they might. (And I certainly wasn’t out buying eclipse glasses to put on my dog, as many people did.)

Our eclipse began at 10:23 am (MDT), peaked at 11:47 am, and ended at 1:14 pm. We were almost an hour into it before it occurred to me to try taking some before-and-during pictures with both my phone and favorite webcams. I got shots from around 11:15 and some a half hour later, at the peak. They were all so similar that without time stamps, I wouldn’t have known which was which.

I should mention I didn’t have any eclipse glasses. Actually seeing the 92% coverage of the sun’s surface might have made it more interesting. I’m glad the schools were going all out for the kids, providing the glasses and all sorts of related science projects, including UV beads, which I’d never heard of.

Maybe I’ll travel to see the next total eclipse in the US. It occurs on my 81st birthday.



Categories: Green, space

23 replies

  1. I’m told we got 86% or so coverage here, but I couldn’t tell through the total overcast. The TV coverage was impressive, both for the number of channels involved as well as for the way it revealed far more interest from people than I expected. That enthusiasm is what really made it special for me. I hope you celebrate your 81st withe a big old eclipse bash!

    • Oh the TV coverage was wonderful. It was so neat watching broadcasters in relative sunlight, and then the darkness dropping like a curtain. There’s been little else on the local news all week, probably because we were so close to the path of totality (4 hr drive to Casper, WY). Yep, if I’m still around for the next eclipse, a bash will definitely be in order.

  2. It didn’t do much here, either. We were supposed to have 89%, and it just looked like it was maybe 5 p.m. I was working, but did watch some of the live stream from South Carolina. I’m sure it was more exciting in person.

    The one in 2024 is supposed to reach totality down here in Arkansas, so let me know if you’re comin’! 😉

  3. At the office we had fun watching the eclipse, but like you we all commented that we thought it would get darker. We were in a 75% zone.

  4. Why would anyone buy special glasses for their dog? Dogs have more sense than to look directly at/into the Sun. not like some people

  5. We were about 75-80% here. I could notice a bit of a difference. The sun is so blazing bright here that I could tell it was slightly subdued. If I didn’t know there was an eclipse, though, I wouldn’t have noticed it. Back in 2010, I think, we had an annular eclipse here, 100%, and it was awesome! It didn’t get dark but definitely dimmed the light, kinda like at dusk. I got some nice photos. I had ordered some film for viewing on Amazon so we could all watch it — well, we had to share the film and I used it over the camera lens. Next ones are 2023 Annular, and 2024 Total. The Annular goes over Albuquerque again.

  6. Nicest thing about the eclipse for me was that two different neighbors from across the street came over and offered to let me look at the eclipse through their glasses… 🙂

  7. I was a bit underwhelmed about the whole thing. I did notice, as you say, that something was a bit ‘off’—the lighting had changed, and the morning brightness was suddenly gone. I’m happy, though, that so many enjoyed it, and that it was a rare unifying event, which was a welcome change!

  8. Thank you for posting the pictures and comments. I live in Tallahassee, FL where we had 86% of totality and clear skies at the time, and I had similar observations as you. It was nice to see the interest in the eclipse and the experiences recorded in areas of totality, and I did appreciate the opportunity to see it with glasses. However, after hearing so much hype and excitement about the event in our area, I intentionally sought out some straightforward commentary about the marginally detectable difference outside of the areas of totality. The temperature here dropped here maybe 4-5 degrees from our balmy summer conditions and the light was less intense, and very close observation provided some extra interest in the shadows. However, if I wasn’t looking for effects of an eclipse, I would’ve given it about as much attention as a passing cloud.

    • After all the hype here, perhaps because we live within a 4-hour drive of the path of totality, I was really disappointed. I thought 92% would be a big deal, a lot more noticeable than it was. I took the pictures while thinking, “Seriously, is this all there is?” And then posted them with the idea that surely things were different elsewhere. Evidently if you weren’t in the direct path of totality, this was about as good as it got. Wish someone had explained that ahead of time. I might have driven to Wyoming after all.

  9. My son in law went to Madras and got lots of photos, etc. Said it was totally worth it. My daughter said that their were weird light pattern effects in Seattle when the sun got down to a mere sliver.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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