Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse!

I'll start off with my favorite picture (that I took) of the eclipse itself.


The trip was fantastic. Even awesome, in the most literal sense of the word. We made it to our hotel room in Woodburn pretty uneventfully.


After a day of travel, it seemed wise to let the boys get some outdoor time, so we went to check out Centennial Park, where the city would be hosting an eclipse BBQ party the next day. The boys enjoyed this "splash pad," which just opened up a few months ago.



(Thankfully, the hotel had a coin-operated dryer.)

My plan had been to try out an improbable Korean restaurant (Korean Chinese food, really) in Woodburn, but I had neglected to note that it was closed on Sundays. We switched plans and I got takeout from Luis's Taqueria, which seems to be the most popular Mexican restaurant in town. Woodburn is majority Latino, so this seemed like a good option. It was delicious!

(Barack Obama visited Luis's Taqueria on May 9, 2008, while campaigning for the primaries. The Secret Service chose the location based on the long lines, and the restaurant only received 15 minutes notice. Less than a month later, on June 3rd, he secured the votes needed to be the presumptive Democratic nominee, and on June 7th Hillary Clinton conceded.)

On the morning of, the boys had waffles at the hotel. Some eclipse watchers had already set up chairs in the lawn next to the hotel.


We drove to Centennial Park around 8:30 a.m. With Google Maps predicting a drive time of 7 minutes and the partial eclipse starting at 9:05 a.m., this seemed pretty safe. As we passed by the seemingly full parking lots at the elementary and middle schools just before the park, I began to worry. At the park entrance, I noticed cars exiting, and figured this was a sure sign that parking was full. I wondered how long it would take to find overflow parking, and how long the walk back would be. Did we have enough time? About 500 feet into the entrance to Centennial Park, I spotted a perfectly fine, if not exactly legal, parking spot. I decided no one would be towing cars this morning, and parked. Woodburnians are far too polite. (The pic below is from after the eclipse, and you can see that someone else followed my lead.)


We walked out on one of the soccer fields. There was plenty of space to set up. The grass was damp, and the sky was clear, so we chose a spot that was near a paved walkway and shade.


This was the scene about 350 feet away, on the baseball field closest to the bulk of the parking. (That roofed space off in the distance on the left is probably where the BBQ was; we never made it there.)


I set up a point-and-shoot camera with a MacGyvered solar filter on Sigrid's tripod (which barely fit in our carry on) on the walkway.



I'm in my Dinofest tshirt from Drumheller in 2012.


Sigrid's favorite eclipse-watcher pic.


My favorite eclipse-watcher pic.


The boys.



During the partial eclipse, spaces between leaves act like pinhole cameras, creating partial-eclipse-shaped projections among the shadows.


Partial eclipse.




As totality approached, the temperature dropped 10 or 15 degrees, and the light made it seem like dusk. On the horizon, the lighting was like a sunset, except that there was no sun at the horizon, and the effect was visible in all directions, like a 360° sunset.


And then, finally, the totality hit. While the partial eclipse was a long drawn out affair, the totality was brief—77 seconds from Woodburn.


Close-up of the same pic.


Here is a wider shot of the pic I started this post with. This is as the sun was emerging from totality; the so-called diamond ring phase.


During the totality, I wasn't looking at my camera, but I was clicking on the shutter every few seconds. I composited eight frames into an animation, and adjusted the timing of the frames to roughly approximate a 16x sped-up version of the sun emerging from totality.


After the eclipse, I decided I just had to try the Korean Chinese food restaurant on our way out of town. I ordered the tangsuyuk.  Although the reviews on Yelp suggest others might disagree with me, to me it was, well, not so impressive (perhaps I'm a tough grader on Korean Chinese food)...

...but it did yield this fortune, which seems apt for a trip for which I started planning nearly a year ago. (I booked our hotel room on August 27, 2016.)


Although the traffic leading up to the eclipse was never as horrible as we feared it might be, the post-eclipse trek back to PDX was a bit trickier. When we left the restaurant, Google Maps projected a drive of over an hour. As we drove, it kept suggesting revisions to shave a few minutes here and there (which we mostly accepted). I suspect the eclipse watchers were, on the whole, more likely to be Google Maps users than average, so the effect likely was that the traffipocalypse crowd was evenly spread out over all possible routes. This meant that alternative routes didn't save as much time as they might otherwise have done, but probably served the greater good as a whole. Our total trip time to the airport was close to two-and-a-half hours. We made it to our flight with a bit of time to spare, but not everyone was so lucky. Our flight had been fully booked, but ended up being about a third or perhaps even half empty, presumably due to people who were viewing from further south of us (or who didn't use an app like Google Maps, and instead insisted on driving back on I-5, which was much more crowded than our route).


Here is an alternative view of sorts of the eclipse from our rooftop in San Francisco—a graph of our solar production. The shape of the graph as a whole shows that it was cloudy in San Francisco, but the dip from 9:01 to 11:37 a.m. is due to the (partial in San Francisco) eclipse.


Finally, here are some photos from the pros (NASA).  Totality, from Madras, Oregon. (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)


The Bailey's Beads, from Madras, Oregon. (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)


Seven frame composite showing the space station photobombing the eclipse, as viewed from Banner, Wyoming, and a video showing the entire fly-by. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)



Sliver of sun, as viewed from Banner, Wyoming. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)


Panorama from the roof of the aircraft hangar at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Although the effect is not super pronounced in this pic, this shows the 360° sunset a bit (NASA Langley/Harlen Capen and George Homich)


Composite showing the progression of the partial solar eclipse over Ross Lake, in Northern Cascades National Park, Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)


Composite of eleven pictures taken at Madras High School in Madras, Oregon. (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

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