On 21 August 2017, a total solar eclipse spanned the United States.
My friends and I drove to see it in Athens, Tennessee.
From there, totality was visible for two and a half minutes.
Roughly 10,000 people were in a park watching the eclipse.
One friend brought his 4-inch telescope and a solar filter.
I took most of these pictures by holding my phone up to the eyepiece.
Click on any picture to see the full-size version.
All day, my friends and I tried to think of eclipse-themed music.
Ten minutes before totality, I rememberd Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.
The last song is titled “Eclipse”, and the last line is:
But the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon
Hurrying, I pulled out my computer and found the song.
We swept through the track to find when that line occurs.
(For future reference, it is at 1 minute 15 seconds.)
We plugged my laptop into the car stereo, opened the doors, and turned the volume all the way up.
Obscured by the Moon, the Sun's appearance dramatically changed.
It suddenly changed from a still-bright ball of light into a ring.
It was amazing to see in person.
I took this picture just by pointing my phone at the Sun.
It looks nothing like how it did while standing there.
For 2.5 minutes, my friends I frantically observed the Sun.
That sounds a little strange,
but we were in a hurry to see the amazing sight in the sky
and also to capture it for the future.
We each took turns at the telescope and tried to catch a picture
before looking up at the sight of a brilliant ring
where the Sun had always been.
We were trying to satisfy all of our curiosity in two short minutes.
After two and a half minutes, the Moon moved past the Sun.
As soon as a sliver of the Sun's surface was revealed,
it suddenly changed back to a brilliant ball in the sky.
The crowd cheered again at the return of the Sun.