The total eclipse of 2017 is the first one visible from the contiguous United States in 38 years. It offers millions of Americans the opportunity to bask in the light of the solar corona for two minutes. The overwhelming majority of 2017 eclipse observers are "totality virgins", having never experienced a total eclipse before.
Just what is it like to stand in the Moon's shadow and watch daylight diminish to an eerie twilight? And what does the corona really look like? Has the total eclipse been completely over-hyped by the media or is it something even more?
There are few events in life that leave a permanent, indelible impression. A total eclipse of the Sun is just such an event. The simple act of recollection can quicken the pulse as vivid memories flood one’s mind.
It all begins with such little fanfare — a tiny notch along one edge of the Sun. An hour passes as the Moon slowly creeps across the Sun’s disk. In the final minutes, daylight grows feeble. A dark curtain rises in the west as the Moon’s shadow races towards you at speeds exceeding a thousand miles per hour. Suddenly, the darkness sweeps over you as the Sun’s light flickers out and totality begins.
I will share some eclipse accounts of my own as well as those of others, illustrated with images and video captured around the world with the hope of preparing you for your own experience with totality on August 21.