Sunday, July 16, 2017

The 45 year waiting period....

"Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia, to see the total eclipse of the sun..."

Carly Simon
You're so Vain

It was July 10th, 1972. I was stationed and living up north of Ellsworth, Maine. The years I was stationed there were late 1971 to early 1973. Right before July of 1972 (which was tourist season bonanza in New England), the big buzz was all about "the eclipse". Even though there had just been one in Nova Scotia in 1970, this was it for Northern America until sometime in 2017, or something. Better see it now!

Well word got out and Highway 1 (the main thoroughfare) going through New England up into Canada was like Grand Central Station. Usually in the off season, all you would see on Highway 1 was a wayward moose, deer, or a whole lot of nothing. This summer however, it was different - much different. Everyone who was someone, or knew someone, or just was curious - was headed to the Maritime Providences. It was truly the "big shebang" of 1972.

I, however, was not one who ventured northward to see the big show. Yes, I still did have a job to do for the Navy. And it was not my scheduled time off. We did manage however, with the permission of the brass, to go outside during the eclipse and see the partial. It was awesome. When the Earth first started to darken, it was just a bit noticeable. But when we got to the 60% or so darkness, it was very noticeable. The graphic in this post was taken from the total eclipse in 1972.

That very long period which I was warned about as a young man is about over. Next month, this nation will see a total eclipse of the sun. It will go from Oregon down to the Carolina's. And then in the 2020's, there will be another one, crossing the country the other direction. One lucky town in southern Illinois will be at the epicenter of both of them.

My wife and I are thinking about traveling a bit south to see the August 21st eclipse. Even if the sky is totally cloud covered, the effect of an eclipse is daunting. If you get the chance to do it - great. If you can't do it this decade, do next. Otherwise, your waiting time will be of biblical standards.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll pass on the trip to southern Illinois, but I'm sure it will be well covered by the mainstream media (fake news). Fox will call it a Chinese hoax, I imagine.