Warning... Photo heavy post. Pictures from totality tailgating at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia where we witnessed 2.5 minutes of awesome jaw dropping totality!The clouds tried to have their way-(which made for some interesting views and images) but by the grace of God we were able to have some large chunks of time where the sun was completely clear of the clouds. Totality was completely unmarred by the clouds.
I was able to take pictures of the sun leading up to totality (partial eclipse) both through my telescope and through my phone. I used a pair of solar lense glasses over my phone. For my telescope pictures, my telescope had a solar filter at the top, so I could lay my phone on the eyepiece to photograph what I could see in the telescope. I was impressed at how well the images came out actually (for a phone camera that WASN'T actually mounted to the telescope- I didnt think it would work as well as it did.)
I was able to show my children (ages 6, 13, and 16) sun spots during this time (some of which show up in the pictures. As well as what the solar eclipse looks like through the telescope. We all had glasses so we could view it with our eyes too.
The spectacle of seeing the sky go dark during the day, the stars come out, and the sun disappear except for a thin shiny silver ring was as awesome as one would expect. The air cooled (THANKFULLY) and the atmosphere took on an eerie feeling. Everyone cheered as the last bit of sun hid itself behind the moon.
NOTHING, however, can compare to the shock and awe I felt when I spared a moment to look down into my telescope during totality (AFTER I remembered I needed to take the solar filter off if I expected to see anything during that time lol). The effect through my telescope was so shocking that I exclaimed out loud "Oh my gosh!". I've never been so completely shocked at what I've seen through my telescope until that moment. I've been intrigued in the past, as I've found saturn, or jupiter. But this was a feeling of 100% total amazement. A once in a lifetime sight!
Then I took a moment to tighten my telescope down and begged everyone else to come take a peek. I loved watching everyone else experience that too! My middle son exclaimed "I want to be a scientist now!" We saw at least two 'stars' during this darkened moment, one of which was rumored to be a planet- but I did not have time to confirm that with my telescope or charts.
I went back to take pictures through my telescope by setting my phone on top of the eyepiece right before totality ended. Then... far too soon (wish we had longer) some blessed stranger was broadcasting a radio program that called out a countdown for "glasses on"- which meant I needed to get my face away from my telescope and put that solar filter BACK ON the darn thing before I fried my retinas. Thank you dear stranger!
The ring started to grow larger and our focus was drawn to the shadows returning slowly on the ground as the sun started to come back out once again! Totality cleared and the moon started its recession. We had to fight traffic back out of columbia so we didn't stay for the whole recession but every moment was completely worth the hours of traffic jams afterward!
Oh and one other thank you to the couple that we shared our tent with ;) Our tent was a bit big for the space, so thank you for letting us share it with you! It was awesome getting to hang out with you guys!
I apologize that these are not in order, I will go back later and put them into order and add more captions.
|Dusk Before Totality|
|Clouds fogging up the shot|
|some of the red tint is from my phone case reflecting off the solar glasses|
|Another image through my phone|
|Pictures through my telescope with solar lens cap|
|Another through my phone|
|Through my phone right before totality|