Total Eclipse Day Success in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, August 21, 2017

A beautiful composite shot at he Astronomy Magazine eclipse site in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, shows the eclipse’s natural beauty. Photo by Alson Wong.

We had total success!! The 350 people at the Teton Science School outside of Jackson, Wyoming, had a perfect day, and are in total jubilation. Last night eclipse weather expert Jay Anderson and I gave three sets of talks about the eclipse, covering everything from how to view it to photography to safety procedures, and so on. And Jay spoke at length about weather prospects. We had some worries about haze and cirrus type clouds that might move over our eclipse site on the big day. But we determined to stick it out: moving would not gain any appreciable value. 

So this morning our group loaded buses and moved about 10 miles to the school site. (The imagined heavy congestion did not occur in Jackson.) 

Once set up at our site, we had more than two hours before the eclipse. The last part of the front that moved over us blew off before first contact, and we had a crystal clear, deep blue, photometric sky. It was the best sky I had ever seen for a total eclipse! 

And then the eclipse came, just as Johannes Kepler had guaranteed. We had total elation. Screams of joy, shouting, camera shutters, and jubilation filled the air. It was the greatest eclipse party I had ever seen! 

The chromosphere was very colorful, and strong blues appeared during both diamond rings. The corona was by far the most beautiful I had ever seen. Strongly elongated as models had predicted, due tot he very low solar magnetic activity, gave us the most beautiful and colorful corona I had ever experienced. The bright prominences at “2 o’clock” and “4 o’clock” were amazing. Regulus was easily visible through the corona, amazingly clear in binoculars. Venus of course shone brightly overhead, as did other planets and stars too. 

It was the most beautiful, mostly stretched and elongated, and prettiest corona I’ve ever seen, as my ninth total solar eclipse. WOW!!!!! 

We are all recovering now, stunned and amazed, and happy. What a day. Every time you see the convergence of worlds, it is a very emotional and powerful experience. 

Onward we go tomorrow, north to Yellowstone. 

A beautiful shot by Alson Wong shows prominences around the solar disk from our site at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Bob Stephens’s gorgeous shot, made at Astronomy Magazine’s site at Jackson Hole, shows amazingly bright Baily’s Beads.

Another shot by Bob Stephens reveals the eclipse’s so-called flash spectrum, its light spread out into a rainbow.

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