Friday, July 07, 2017

117 Years - 3 Total Eclipses Of The Sun SE USA

117 Years
3 Total Eclipses of the Sun
Southeastern United States


Over the past one hundred and seventeen years there have been three total solar eclipses of the sun that were visible in the Southeastern United States.  

The first occurred on 28 May 1900.
The second occurred on 07 May 1970.
The third will occur on 21 August 2017.

I was standing the backyard of the home I grew up in, with my parents, my older sister, our neighbors and my grandfather on the 7th of May 1970.  I was engaged to be married and my then fiancĂ©e was teaching school in Wilmington NC.  She had a group of her kids singing for a teacher's meeting on Wrightsville Beach that day and asked everyone to let them be excused for a bit to out in the parking lot to see the eclipse.

As the eclipse became total I recall it was as if the sun had set or was about to rise but the direction of sunrise/sunset was around the entire horizon rather than just to the west or east.  That was until you looked up and there in the sky high over head was this perfect deep red ring in the sky with streamers surrounding it.

My grandfather who grew up along the NC/SC border near Tabor City NC said, "Yes, that is exactly how it looked with I was just a boy!".  My grandfather was born in 1888 and would have been 12 years old in 1900.

So now this year on the 21st of August if all goes well I will see the second total solar eclipse of my life and can say, "Yes, that is exactly how it looked when I was 23 years old!"

I expect there is no one alive today who can recall seeing the eclipse of 1900.  My grandfather saw two, and I will likely see two, and my father saw one (1970).  There is nice symmetry there.


Below are graphics depicting of these three eclipses. 


28 May 1900

07 May 1970

21 August 2017