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One “hot” eclipse

Eric Burgess

Russellville, KY

2017-09-03

So 2017 was definitely the hottest eclipse that I have seen. Arrived at location at the Logan County Library around 7:00am. (Kudos to the staff at the library – great job hosting the event.)  Grabbed a grassy spot by the exit should clouds come into play. Never even a question. Set up in grass soaking wet. Late morning some VIP buses showed up with some city slickers from Louisville. Many looked dressed for a cocktail party. They were hustled away to the “VIP area”. Then some bus loads of students. By the time C1 rolled around temps were pushing into the low 90s with sweltering humidity. Basically just sat under the canopy and poked our heads out every once in a while to check progress.  Did not see the umbra approach possibly due to haze and cirrus clouds off to the west. Totality was really bright maybe cause it was such a “small eclipse”. Due to us being in town and some street lights starting to come on the only things we saw were Venus, Jupiter and a handful of bright stars. Regulus sure made a pretty sight next to the main show. (Was Mercury on our side of the solar system? I couldn’t find it at all and not sure if that was because it was on our side and just a tiny crescent or because we were in a town.) The cheers/gasps/exclamations from a large crowd like that is something you never forget. It easily makes up for being in a town and not getting as good of astronomy. It’s totally different from the excitement you hear at a sporting event, just hard to describe. I had never seen a red traditional traffic light before. At 95%+ boy do those look strange. Anyway, I just have a 300 mm, old body, and not a lot of practice but this is at least a decent shot of the pair with Regulus. Boy oh boy was the drive home bad. Had to get home so the kid would only miss one day of school. But for every car on the road I said, there’s one more family that saw the greatest sight on Earth today.

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