Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse of the Heart

How many of you will be listening to a little Bonnie Tyler over the next couple weeks?  Am I showing my age?  For those of you who don't know, she sang "Total Eclipse of the Heart" back in the 1980s.  Which, by the way, the 1980s was the greatest decade for music.  Now that we have that settled, let's talk about the total eclipse of the sun. :)

In grade school, I was taught about the "solar sandwich".  Of course if you relate anything to food, I pay attention, especially when it comes to sammiches. 

The moon will pass between the earth and the sun and it should be spectacular.  The only thing making me worry is any cloud cover that day.  It's possible given the pattern we're in this August.  Even with cloud cover, it won't be entirely disappointing if that happens.  With as much as 90% of the sun blocked out, we should see things get dark.  

As a certified "weather geek", I can't wait to see how much temperatures drop during the eclipse.  I have heard some say as much as 15-20°, but I think that might be a bit extreme.  How will winds react with the diminished thermal currents?  These are the things I can't wait to examine!

Also, closer to the path of totality, which will be just north of Arkansas, I wonder if street lights turn on?  I bet they do!  How will birds and animals react?  Will they think it's sunset?  There are so many interesting dynamics to this eclipse.

Since school will be in session, I hope teachers take this opportunity to get kids excited about science.  Make it an all day science lesson and outdoor activity, if weather permits.  PLEASE remember, have certified protective solar eclipse glasses.   Safety first!

Will you miss this eclipse?  Never fear, another will appear.  As a matter of fact, a total solar eclipse will pass right over Arkansas in April of 2024.







 PARTIAL ECLIPSE OVER ARKANSAS IN MAY 2012


PARTIAL ECLIPSE IN MAY 2012 FROM JANET ELLEDGE

THE DYNAMICS OF A SOLAR ECLIPSE COURTESY OF NASA

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