USA TSE, total solar eclipse: three years away for USA

That’s what I try to communicate to folks who have seen partials and are all, “Yeah, it was pretty cool. . .” Partials are fun and cool, totals are like BEING in a big-budget sci-fi movie. I’ve seen partials before, and I was wholly unprepared for how different, how much more amazing and cool a total eclipse is.

I really hope I can hitch a ride to the next one. It’s only like an hour away and I’ve got years to make plans, but I don’t have a car anymore. After decades of backyard amateur astronomy, I’ve seen lunar eclipses, meteor showers, satellites with my naked eyes, comets, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (and some of their moons) with my telescope, partial solar eclipses, and even some low-key northern lights. I saw Skylab falling out of orbit, streaking across the sky with a false (ghost) reflection that looked just like it.

Nothing compared to 100% totality, not even close.

You still have time to walk there.

Yeah a total eclipse is an entirely different kind of experience, altogether.
(pause)

It really is. In partial eclipses I’ve seen, the feeling is like “I think it’s getting a little darker, isn’t it? Not really sure…” A total eclipse just knocks your socks off. Seeing the sun replaced with a jet black circle is an uncanny experience. I once told a friend that compared to a total eclipse, a partial eclipse is like a partial orgasm.

Technically, everything’s in walking distance if you have the time.

The ratio of sunlight reaching the ground in a 99% eclipse vs a total eclipse is ~10,000:1. For the “value of the experience” ratio, simply invert that fraction.

Definitely planning to see 2024, just not sure yet from where. Was able to experience totality in 2017 in while dispersed camping in Oregon on Forest Service land. Had plans to be in Chile this past December but Covid screwed that up.

My daughter lives in southern Vermont - a bit south of the path, per the map. Though she’s just a 2ish hour drive from the center of the path… might just have to go visit her around then.

Well, swimming distance, if one is on another continent… (anyone remember those Google Maps easter eggs that involved swimming the Atlantic or kayaking across the Pacific?).

A nice family gathering in a beautiful area, yes. But be mindful of bad weather and unclear skies.