Sunday, August 20, 2017

Tips for the Eclipse

Tips for the eclipse:
  1. Wear proper eye protection. Do not stare at the sun for too long during partial occlusion even with protection. 
  2. Use a filtered telescope + digital camera if you want to see the eclipse itself.
  3. If you don't have a pinhole shadowbox, you can use the shadow of leaves on the ground and the spots of sunlight between them to follow the progress of the eclipse.
  4. Read Annie Dillard's essay on a previous eclipse:
  5. As Dillard's essay, and the tree pinhole camera effect demonstrate, while most people will be focusing on the alignment of the sun & moon, it's the rest of the world that has the most interesting things to observe.
  6. Observe how other people and animals act.
  7. Observe your own state of mind.
  8. An eclipse is a deeply uncanny experience. It is awful in the old sense of the word: awe-full. It's not surprising that people went nonlinear when they didn't know what was going on; people act strangely during an eclipse even with a modern understanding of celestial mechanics.
  9. The light gets weird. Colors get weird. Things appear differently from how they normally do. The dominant colors are silver and indigo, that elusive color between blue and violet, normally only seen in a particular grade of lapis lazuli and in butterfly wings.
  10. Take pictures of the people taking pictures, of the landscape, of the earth and sky together. There will be a lot of pictures taken of the eclipsed sun, but not enough of these other images.

1 comment:

DoctorK said...

I love this shift in perspective--look around at everything but the eclipse. That kind of thing will teach us the most.