Monday, August 21, 2017

Journey to the Shadow


It is the morning of Eclipse Day and we have a new plan: Go West! Craig's careful study of the weather models and satellite imagery gave him a headache. But suggested that around eclipse time in South Carolina, the chances of cloud cover will be lower the farther west you go. Therefore, we've decided to drive to Greenwood, west of Columbia. There we will meet an old friend of Craig's who will be observing there with friends. Being Eclipse Day, we expect traffic to be a challenge. So, for our dash across the state, we will take a few roads we hope will be less traveled. And by doing so, we hope that will make all the difference. The optimistic travel-time estimate is about 2 hours 30 minutes. If there are significant delays on the road, we may get to Greenwood after first contact (C1, the start of the partial phase). But as long as we are in place before totality (the time from C2 to C3), then no worries! The rough eclipse contact times for Greenwood, SC (Eastern Time) are: C1: 1:10:25 pm; C2: 2:39:22 pm; C3: 2:41:51 pm; C4: 4:04 pm. Queue the John Williams music!...Trivia Item 1: Experiencing a total solar eclipse where you live happens on average about once in 375 years. Trivia Item 2: 12.2 million Americans live in the path of this total eclipse. Of course, with visitors, that number will be much higher! About 200 million people (a little less than 2⁄3 the nation's population) live within one day's drive of the path of this total eclipse. In addition, millions of Americans will be able to view a partial eclipse, weather permitting.

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