Eclipse day. Woodstock? | Arkansas Blog

Eclipse day. Woodstock?


I was amused by the excitement of a NASA scientist over today's eclipse, as reported by CNN.

Millions of people are forecast to flock to the very narrow swath — 70 miles wide — that today's solar eclipse will travel across the US.

"This will be like Woodstock 200 times over — but across the whole country," said Alex Young, solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Federal Highway Administration is calling this a "planned special event for which there has been no recent precedent in the United States."

The moon, which many of us often take for granted, will quite literally have its day in the spotlight. Science geeks have been counting down to the millisecond for today's eclipse.

Professional photographers and amateur astronomers have bought and tested special solar filters for their cameras.

Even the surfers at have gone along the Oregon coast and cleaned the lenses off their surf cameras so they can catch the first glimpses of the moon's shadow reaching the western shore.

Now, the day is here.

"The hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up, and you are going to feel different things as the eclipse reaches totality. It's been described as peaceful, spiritual, exhilarating, shocking," said Brian Carlstrom, deputy associate director of the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate.

If you don't believe, stop, watch and listen.
I've been amused, too, by TV station promises of "team coverage" of the 15 minutes or so when it gets real dark, if not quite as dark as night.  But, then again, if the observers start behaving like the crowd at Woodstock, well, there might be some good film.

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