Tuesday, August 22, 2017

417: THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE ON AUGUST 21, 2017


Standing in the middle of a wheat field in Eastern Idaho, just a few miles west of Salem, Idaho  my family witnessed the Great American Eclipse of 2017. We were invited by our close friends to camp out near the center line of the Path of Totality. Words can't really describe the experience. Unless you saw it, no one can really explain the event to you and give it justice. A total solar eclipse is not only meant to be seen, but needs to be experienced first hand. It is not just a visual spectacle, it is an experience you feel with your entire body. It is life changing.  My mouth dropped in awe.  Tears fell down my wife's cheek. My confused 5 year old daughter asked us, "When is it going to be morning again Dad?"

Within a 3 minute time span , one witnesses the bright blue sky of the midday change to a dark sky of night. Stars and planets appear, temperatures plummet as the sun and moon align perfectly changing day to night then back to day in minutes.

To sum it up best would be to quote D&C 88: 47: "Any man who hath seen any or the least of these  hath seen God moving in his majesty and power."
I testify that my family and I witnessed God moving in Their Majesty and Power yesterday at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2017.

Here are a few photos I took with my camera to document the event.

 Taken Just a few minutes before the complete total eclipse. 

Photo of the total eclipse that lasted for us for about 2 minute 18 seconds. While the moon completely covered the sun, we could watch this without any eye protection. This sign in heaven was meant to be seen with the natural eye without any protective eye gear.

Photo of the sun reappearing after the total eclipse with the moon. 

The moon and the sun continuing to move apart after appearing to be exactly the same size. 

This is still frame from the video I took with a wide angle lens while the eclipse was occuring. 



Sidenote:

For weeks I was trying to determine where I would go to view the eclipse. There were alot of factors to consider including the weather, traffic, accommodations, and who was going to come from my family. We finally decided on Saturday and we got ready to leave early Sunday morning. It was a beautiful drive up to Idaho Falls and we continued further North to be as close to the center of path of totality. That evening some clouds began to roll in creating a beautiful sunset but causing some concern and/or doubt that maybe it might be cloudy the next day. It seems like in every important event in our life, we have "clouds" of doubt roll in and cover our skies.

Photo taken of the sunset on August 20,,2017 on the eve of the Total Eclipse in Plano, Idaho.

However the next morning, just hours before the eclipse, I woke up early to beautiful clear skies. I went into a nearby wheat field to watch the sunrise.




Standing in the middle of a wheat field. I could see the location where NASA set up their operations for the eclipse. NASA They were located on top of the plateau that you can see in the distance.



Photo taken hours on top the water irrigation tower that is located in the center of wheat field.
This is the location where my family would return to watch the eclipse.  

In the distance it was possible to see the Grand Tetons in the horizon just before the sunrise. 


The event was not just observed by us, but it seems like all of creation anticipated the event.

Photo of a flocks of birds heading east towards the sun in the horizon.

(Not the best photo since it is kind of blurry, but it is a photo of a night owl flying low over the wheat.
It 
was taken in the wheat field where we watched the eclipse.

Not only have I never seen a total eclipse, I have never seen an owl fly in the wild.

Photo of a dove perched high up in blue spruce just prior to the eclipse. 
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Image for comment no 3 from Taylor:


5 comments:

Keith Henderson said...

Elaine and I sat in our camp chairs on a sage brush flat located between a mountain about a mile to the east and a lower sage covered hill about a quarter mile to our west. The Green River was a little less than a mile to our east. This was all located about 40 miles north of Cora Wyoming, on county road #352. I may have that distance slightly off but we stood (sat) on exact center line of the eclipse. Time estimate of totality was about 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

In the flat area we chose, about 25 camping rigs had also camped the night before. We just pulled our truck among them and set up our camping chairs about 7 AM, and settled down for as 3 hour wait. The area was a couple of hundred yards wide and about a quarter mile long.

What an awesome experience!! I was going to say sight, but it was way more than that. It took until about 70% of totality for there to appear any diminishing of light. Then it gradually begin to fade. During this time, around about 80% or so, a gaggle (flock, herd) of Sage Grouse began to coo. That's the best description I can give of the sound they made. It sounded though like they were telling each other "nighty night." At about 97% we were in twilight, and from there to 100% it was as though someone slowly pulled down a shade, and then it was dark. Like you said David, Venus was almost directly overhead, bright as ever. Some of the brighter stars came out. But not only was it visual but also aural. The Green River, which before totality we weren't cognizant of hearing, became loud in its gurgling noises, sounding almost like there was a waterfall. The noisy camping area became eerily quiet and you could hear people all around making their comments. It was like when Elaine and I used to parachute jump. You'd look up and watch the plane fly away and then everything became so quiet you could hear people on the ground talking and cows mooing from 4000 feet up. This was like that.

At full eclipse the moon had a silver ring around its perimeter caused by the reflexion of the sun. At the instant of the end of full eclipse that first squirt of visible sunlight produced the diamond for the ring. This is a much talked about phenomena, and evidently a few said "I do" at that very second. It was gorgeous! One other thing clearly visible to us was Bailey's Beads. This looks like red spots around the circumference of the moon at totality and makes the sun look like its circumference might be slightly irregular, but is actually is eruptions on the surface of the sun exceeding the diameter, just slightly, of the moon.

Again, you had to be there!! I will go again for the next one. I think I'll only be 103 then.

Keith

Sally Dutton said...

Beautiful photos and a wonderful recap of your experience. Thanks for sharing.

Taylor said...

I was in Easter ID as well. Then shortly after there was the inevitable Great American Traffic Jam coming back to Utah. Glad you didn't document that. Nothing uplifting about it, especially compared to what we all witnessed in the heavens. haha. Took 10+ hours to go 200 miles.

The eclipse was absolute amazing. Also of interesting note was in which constellation the eclipse took place. From Eastern ID it was on the right paw of Leo the Lion. While Mars was just in front of the left paw. I have a great pic of the eclipse overlaid by the background constellation outlines. Can't figure out how to get the image into this comment box. But you can imagine.

I second that the eclipse was an unforgettable experience. Thanks for the images.

R. said...

Beautiful!!!

Rob

Underdog2 said...

Denver yesterday taught in Boise that, as I recollect him saying, that the eclipse marked the time in which the Lord is withdrawing his Spirit from the earth.

The spirit will not always strive with man.

With its withdrawal, Denver said to expect hate and anger to manifest even above and beyond what we may think is normal.

He said to love those who hate and persecute you.

He said the gap between the love of Christ and the dark hatred of the last days will widen to a level that will surprise.

Ultimately America will be destroyed by fratricide and genocide as were the former inhabitants of the land-- the Jaredites and Nephites.