The Great American Eclipse
Updated: Oct 20, 2019
The Great American Eclipse happened on August 21, 2017. I spent a couple of hours in the eclipse viewing event at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) in Boulder. Even though we only observed a partial eclipse there, it was still quite an experience to behold.
At some point before 93% of the sun was covered by the moon, which happened at around 11:40am local time, there was a subtle chill of the air, a gradual descent of tinted dimness, and an unexpected materialization of quietness. For a brief moment, everything seemed to stand still. It didn't last for longer than a minute or two, but I will always remember the skin-tingling eeriness and the sense of awe. Seeing a large group of people marvel at the same wonder of nature together, and knowing that there were millions more having a similar experience at different locations at exactly the same time, made this seem especially profound. In a way, the experience is at once deeply solitary and warmly communal.
One of my joys throughout the event was to observe and capture the expressions on the faces of people of all ages. I just couldn't help wandering around the event ground and taking in their experiences as well as my own. For at least a couple of hours, we forgot about everything else and simply rejoiced together.
Looking at the photos below, I am so grateful for the wonderful universe we live in and grateful for the math and science that predicted this phenomenon so precisely that we can all take part in it.
Photos of the Great American Eclipse Viewing Event at NCAR