Dark Side of the Moon

Money? Nope.

Time? Nuh-uh.

The Great Gig in the Sky? I guess it sorta kinda technically counts. But I still think I’m still gonna go with a “no” on that one.

Any Colour You Like? No.

Eclipse? Yep. That’s the one! More specifically, a solar eclipse. Unless you have been totally avoiding the news, Facebook and the sky, you know there was an eclipse as the moon passed directly over the sun. Here, we only got a partial eclipse. In other places they got a total eclipse. Lucky bastards. Since I am guessing you are not in any of those places, you only got to see a partial eclipse, which is better than nothing. And oh yeah, the side that faced us today; that would be the dark side, the side we never see. It is the side that always faces us during solar eclipses.[i]

To best see the eclipse, you need some special glasses, which I didn’t. I kinda forgot, as I was focusing on practicing new choreography for belly dance. However, I did find another way to view the eclipse. I put a box on my head. Well, it is a special box, called a pinhole camera. Pinhole on one side, paper on the other, and I get to see the shadow of the moon passing in front of the sun. I could have looked directly at the sun, but I wanted to see other things afterwards, so I decided not to do that. While total blindness isn’t that common (but it is still a thing), but other types of damage can, and often do occur – most notably dimming of vision for short periods of time, and seeing shadowy images for a period of time afterwards,[ii] and I don’t want any of that.

DSC_1028
My totally sweet, state-of-the-art pinhole camera. check out that super high tech wicked awesome design on that baby. You know you’re jealous!
DSC_1013
And that is my sweet image of the moon obscuring the sun in my pinhole camera. There was actually more contrast, but the camera flash brightened the inside of the box quite a bit

As most of you may already know, the moon passed in front of the sun. Also, it got a teeny bit darker in mid-afternoon and there all sorts of weird-ass shadows and shit. But did you know that there was a super cool Scrabble word involved too? Syzygy! Don’t even ask how that shit is pronounced, because I have no fucking clue, but it is 21 points before you add in any special tiles. So what the hell is this syzygy thing anyway? It is when three or more gravitational bodies pass in front of each other in a straight line[iii]. In this case the moon is passing between the earth and the sun.[iv] This will cause a shadow to fall on the earth. Where the moon completely covers the sun, it is called the umbra, it gets dark as night there, but here we were in the penumbra, where only part of the sun got covered, and it gets kinda shady,[v] depending on how close you are to the umbra. We also got some clouds too, which kinda sucked, but this being New England, it could have been a whole helleva lot worse.

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this was my attempt at photography with my eyes shut. Actually just one out of about 50 attempts. As you can clearly see, some dumbass clouds got in the way. Stupid clouds!

There are different kinds of solar eclipses, but this is a total eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun – at least in part of the affected area. But everyone around here will only see a partial eclipse.[vi] There are other kinds too, but I’m not discussing those, because I don’t wanna. Just today’s eclipse.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are also the cool shadows, you got these things called shadow bands, in which you have alternating dark and light areas, no one knows what causes them, but the pictures of them seem pretty cool,[vii] but sadly there were none of those here. Bummer. However, I did see some weird ass crescent shaped shadows. I wasn’t able to figure out why, but I guess it works in the same principle as my pinhole camera. They were totally cool to look at.

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Crescent shadows, instead of the usual flower shaped shadows

Ok, the eclipse is now over, and I am gonna go back and crank up some Pink Floyd now.  Later.

 

Emily Curewitz

21AUG2017

[i] Original Author Unknown, updated by Resnick, Brian “Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Everything You Need to Know” Vox 18Aug2017 208pm https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/15925410/total-solar-eclipse-2017-explained

[ii] Pappas, Stephanie “Can a Solar Eclipse really Blind You?” Livescience 10AUG2017 (originally published in 2012, but updated on10AUG2017) https://www.livescience.com/20433-solar-eclipse-blind.html

[iii] Author Unknown “Syzygy” Wikipedia 20AUG2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygy_(astronomy)

[iv] Author Unknown  “Solar Eclipse” Wikipedia 20AUG2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse

[v] Author Unknown  “Solar Eclipse” Wikipedia 20AUG2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse

[vi] Author Unknown “August 21 2017 Solar Eclipse” Time and Date 1995-2017 https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2017-august-21

[vii] Author Unknown “Exploring Shadow Bands” NASA 20AUG2017 https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/exploring-shadow-bands

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