Only Seen During a Total Solar Eclipse – Get In The Path of Totality! - Northeast Whitewater

Only Seen During a Total Solar Eclipse – Get In The Path of Totality!

Only Seen During a Total Solar Eclipse – Get In The Path of Totality!

With just a couple weeks before we see The Great American Eclipse in Maine let’s talk about things witnessed only during a total solar eclipse and why you should get in the Path of Totality in Maine!

DARKNESS:  This is surreal and the number one reason you should get in totality!

A partial eclipse NOTHING compared to totality!  If you are remotely close to the Path of Totality, I encourage you to get there!

Depending on conditions you’ll be able to see stars and maybe even a comet! (more on that below)!  There can also be interesting occurrences with wildlife and weather.  It’s worth it, I promise!

If you’re looking for a location in the Path of Totality to see the solar eclipse in Maine check out our exclusive Guided Eclipse Event and BBQ here at Northeast Whitewater!  Our Registered Maine Guides will be on hand with talks, ISO 12312-2 certified eclipse glasses, a “Totality Toast”, and we’ll wrap it all up with trivia and a BBQ like only Maine Guides can produce!

CORONA: The Sun’s outer atmosphere is the corona and can only be seen when the moon totally eclipses the sun.  The corona shows from around the silhouette of the moon as a wispy halo.  Fluctuations in the sun’s magnetic field cause the corona to slowly shift so every eclipse the corona has a different appearance.

We’re fortunate during this eclipse that the sun is nearing its next solar maximum.  This is when solar magnetic activity is at its peak and the corona will appear as long, wispy white tendrils branching away from the sun – maybe reaching away as much as twice the width of the sun!

If you’re photographing the eclipse this is the time to have your long lens ready and be prepared to pull off the filter.  I’ll be using a 100-500mm lens on a tripod set up well before hand so I’ll only need a couple seconds to catch the shot.

SOLAR PROMINENCE AND CHROMOSPHERE:  Both these solar features extend just past the edge of the moon during the eclipse and you’ll have to look closely.  Consider having binoculars or a telescope available.  NOTE: the only time it is safe to view the eclipse without appropriate eye protection is when the sun is FULLY obscured during the time of totality.

Solar prominences are bright red structures made of plasma and magnetic fields that can project miles above the sun’s surface.

The chromosphere is the second layer of the sun’s atmosphere.  It’s a roiling mass of magnetic storms and will show up as a thin layer of color peeking past the edges of the moon.

TEMPERATURE DROP AND NATURE:  This is a no brainer, when the sun is blocked the temperature drops.  The fun thing is that sudden chill can make the event feel mysterious!

But it doesn’t end there! Researchers have found solar eclipses can clear the sky!  Using satellite data researchers found that as the land cools in the minutes preceding an eclipse the fluffy cotton ball cumulus clouds that sit at lower levels often start to clear!  This is good news for our viewing opportunities!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to affect the mid to high level clouds.

We may also witness wildlife acting differently – crickets are likely to become more vocal as we move in and out of totality while birds are likely to be less vocal, but more active, flying to and from roosting locations as they’re fooled into thinking night has come.

PLANETS, STARS AND THE DEVIL COMET:  During totality, the sky becomes dark enough to reveal stars and planets and maybe even a comet!

Appearing as bright stars the planet Venus will show up below and to the right of the eclipse and Jupiter will be above and to the left.

And, in a truly unique event the Comet Pons-Brooks may be visible just to the right of Jupiter!

Comet Pons-Brooks is also known as the “Devil Comet” because it has two ice formations the protrude out like horns.  By the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse the comet will have moved into the daytime sky so we’re super fortunate that the timing is lining up to get one last look at the comet during the solar eclipse!  Bring your binoculars!

SAFETY REMINDER:  Viewing the sun at any time can permanently damage your eyes!

Totality is the ONLY TIME it is safe to view the eclipse without certified eye protection.  Here in Maine we’ll have about three minutes of totality when the moon is fully blocking the sun and you can safely view the eclipse without eye protection.

DO NOT LOSE your glasses!  You will need them to watch as the sun reappears.

A total solar eclipse is an awe-inspiring event with the sudden darkness, eerie light and so many celestial activities – it could be one of the most spectacular natural events you’ll experience!

With people from around the world converging on the path of totality, avoid the crowds and guarantee yourself a great location for the April 8th solar eclipse by joining us here at the Northeast Whitewater campus for our Guided Eclipse Event and BBQ!  With Registered Maine Guides hosting the event it’s sure to be an event to remember!

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