Totality will go by so fast today. Here’s a checklist of what to look at
The total phase of the eclipse only lasts two minutes or so, but there’s a lot to see and experience
It will take about two minutes, and before you know it, the long-awaited Total Solar Eclipse happening across the U.S.A. will be done.
Only those in the Path of Totality in 12 U.S. States will cash-in their winning celestial lottery ticket.
Here’s what to do to get the best from Totality, from a minute or so beforehand to the return of the Sun:
1 – The last slithers of the Crescent Sun disappearing. Get ready!
2 – Remove your solar eclipse glasses and do a 360-degree turn to look at the sky. Notice how the colors are changing.
3 – Notice how the light is fading in the most surreal way. It will look like Armageddon is upon you! Is is getting colder?
4 – Cheers and gasps from others around you mean totality is here, and it’s safe to look at the Sun’s shimmering white solar corona. Whoa!
5 – The corona is captivating, but quickly look to the right for bright planet Venus, and far left for Jupiter.
6 – Back to the corona. Look for red plumes of plasma visible on the side of the Moon. Notice how quiet the crowd is (if you’re in one).
7 – Now is when to take a souvenir, wide-angle photo on your phone. Hopefully you disabled your flash beforehand? Put your phone away.
8 – Do another quick 360-degree turn to look at the changing colors.
9 – If you have them, hold-up binoculars to the Sun & Moon. Can you make-out any detail on the Moon’s surface? That’s Earthshine, reflected light from our planet.
10 – Study the corona.
11 – Tiny beads of light will appear on the left-hand side of the Moon and BAM! A beautiful Diamond Ring appears in a burst of Sunlight. It’s time to look away.
12 – Before you hug someone, cry, drink or drive off, put your solar eclipse glasses back on briefly, and check-out that tiny slither of a crescent Sun.
You will then have two questions:
1 – Did that really happen?
2 – When is the next eclipse?
Want to see the next eclipse? Check out our ebook When Is The Next Eclipse? : When, where & how to see solar & lunar eclipses. Travel guide 2018-2030
Photo credit: Dennis di Cicco / Sky & Telescope