August 21, 2017 — Trip to Totality

On August 20, 2017 Chuck and I and a friend, Scott, headed to Madras OR to view the eclipse the following day. We stopped in Goldendale at the Maryhill Museum to view Sam Hill’s amazing, eclectic art collection and then up to the Goldendale Observatory for their 4PM “Solar Show”.

Go directly to photo album from trip >

Maryhill Museum

Upon visiting the Maryhill Museum, founded by Sam Hill, one is first struck by the beautiful view of the Maryhill vineyard and the Columbia River Gorge.

A Stop at Maryhill Museum -- The Columbia River Gorge and Maryhill Winery Below
A Stop at Maryhill Museum — The Columbia River Gorge and Maryhill Winery Below

 

Sam Hill was a successful businessman and entrepreneur, president of the Seattle Gas and Electric Company, and president of the Washington State Good Roads Association. He spent much of his life promoting the development of roads throughout the Northwest. In 1907, he purchased 5,300 acres of land along the Columbia River with the dream of establishing a Quaker farming community. When this project failed due to lack of water for irrigation in the area, a friend convinced him to turn his project into an art museum. Thus the Maryhill Art Museum was established. He then began to collect a wide variety of art to his liking.

The eclectic collections at the Maryhill Museum include:

 

Goldendale Observatory “Solar Show”

From Maryhill, we took a short trip to see the Solar Show at the Goldendale Observatory. We learned the following interesting facts about the sun:

  • It is composed of about 80% Hydrogen and 20% Helium in a plasma form (the fourth state of matter)
  • It is constantly undergoing nuclear fusion.
  • It is a Yellow Dwarf (G2V) about 4.6 billion years old
  • It will burn through its hydrogen for another 130 million years and then burn through its helium. At that time it will also start to expand and engulf Mercury, Venus, and Earth. It will then become a red giant star. In its final phase, it will collapse and become a white dwarf about the size of earth.
  • The Aurora Borealis is caused by the interaction of solar winds with Earth’s atmosphere.

We also learned the difference between prominences, solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Because it was overcast on the 21st, we could not directly view the sun through their telescope. Instead, we watched a time lapse video similar to the following one:

 

DSC01572-9

 

There were many children in the audience and they were invited to participate in a demonstration of how plasma is formed. (The children seemed to know more about the solar system than the adults in the room.)

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALITY

Engaged Viewer
Engaged Viewer

The eclipse on August 21, 2017 was the first solar eclipse visible from the U.S. since 1979 and the first to cross the entire continent in 99 years. Totality was visible in 12 states. Just north of Madras, the sky was clear, the temperature was perfect and the crowd was orderly and focused. People patiently awaited the amazing few minutes of totality (1 minute 58 seconds worth) which were well worth the wait, long drive, and crowd.

The sunlight became thinner and thinner while the temperature dropped a few degrees. People had picnics, visited with friends, set up viewing gear, blew bubbles, and patiently awaited the brief, but dramatic and memorable dance between the sun and moon.

TOTALITY
TOTALITY

 

The Baily's Beads effect, also known as the diamond ring effect, seen as the moon made its final move over the sun, but as for the aquamarine rectangle . . . ?
The Baily’s Beads effect, also known as the diamond ring effect, was seen as the moon made its final move over the sun, but as for that aquamarine rectangle . . . ?

See complete photo album from trip >

At the point totality begins, there is a marked reduction in light on the earth. However, because of the Baily’s Beads effect, the entire horizon remains lit producing a very eerie lighting effect. Our friend, Scott, made the following video with his iPhone during the period of totality.  In the video, you can hear cheers and whistles as totality begins and ends. You can also see that the horizon remains lit during totality.

 

The following photo was sent to me by Peggy Miller. It was taken on the Oregon Beach as the eclipse broke landfall.

August 21, 2017 -- Rainbow effect at Otter Rock, Depoe Bay, Oregon -- photo by Peggy Miller
August 21, 2017 — Rainbow effect at Otter Rock, Depoe Bay, Oregon — photo by Peggy Miller

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 7.36.32 AM

 

Sun Crescents can be seen during the partial phase of an eclipse. Here are photos by Daniel Benveniste taken in Bellevue during the partial eclipse with examples and an explanation of this phenomenon.

8 Responses

  1. `Anuenue
    | Reply

    You have a beautiful gift for capturing life! Mahalo nui loa for sharing my friend.

  2. Nancy Code
    | Reply

    Thanks Julie…great photos and narration giving a subtle sense of place and events.
    Really enjoyed them.

  3. Caron Harrang
    | Reply

    I was in Oslo during the eclipse having dinner with Norwegian colleagues where it was not visible nor a topic of conversation.

    An artist’s caption from the Oslo Contemporary Art Museum says, “Everything is somehow related to everything else, yet the whole is terrifying [sic] unstable.” Rossella Biscotti

    Such is the beauty and delicacy of life. Thank you Julie for sharing your experience with scientific precision and artistic flair. Brava!

  4. Kristen
    | Reply

    Stunning and thanks for sharing.

  5. Vester Marshall
    | Reply

    Fantastic photos Julie. You really captured the soul of the event and I’m grateful that you shared. I have sent the link that speaks to an anomaly and just may be an answer to what was captured on that very special shot that are perplexed about. I will go to your blog and comment as well.

    It’s one of 2 days that I take off from asana class, the other being Saturday. It’s a fine day indeed. Enjoy you day and as always …. Namaste _/|\_

  6. Vester Marshall
    | Reply

    Fantastic photos Julie. You really captured the soul of the event and I’m grateful that you shared. I have sent the link that speaks to an anomaly and just may be an answer to what was captured on that very special shot that are perplexed about. I will go to your blog and comment as well.

    It’s one of 2 days that I take off from asana class, the other being Saturday. It’s a fine day indeed. Enjoy you day and as always …. Namaste _/|\_

  7. Barbara Shaiman
    | Reply

    Thanks for sending Julie…. great photos and videos! I watched it here in Seattle, but it was obviously a lot more dramatic where you were in Madras.

  8. Jeanne Bender-Zehrer
    | Reply

    Thanks. Great photos.

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