Where is best place within Totality Path?

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k1429308
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Where is best place within Totality Path?

Post by k1429308 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:50 pm

Hello - I’m excited to see the upcoming eclipse next week with my kids. I am trying to decide where in the path of totality is the best place to go. Some websites that I’ve seen argue that going to the middle of the path (where totality is longest) is best. Others argue that the edges is the best.

I’ve always thought that the sky becomes completely black during a total eclipse. However looking at a few Youtube videos it seems that this is not always the case. In particular a video from Indonesia 2016 suggests that light is visible from the horizon. However in another video that I saw (Libya 2006), the horizon looks almost completely black.

Indonesia 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAuVs9_o9RY
Libya 2006 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffBYVQ7j8MI

I have a feeling that this was because the two videos were shot in different locations within the path of totality.

So the question is this: Assuming clear skies, does it matter where in the path of totality to view the eclipse? To see total darkness, is it better to go towards the middle of the path? What would you folks recommend for a first time viewer?

Thanks

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Montana
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Re: Where is best place within Totality Path?

Post by Montana » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Just go anywhere with no clouds and try and stick to the centreline for longest duration. I don't think it matters where, just be there :)

Alexandra

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Re: Where is best place within Totality Path?

Post by robert » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:25 pm

Alexandra is spot on. The two videos have different exposure settings. The sky above appears dark to your eyes and the horizon is still light. Your eyes are such good instruments for compensating that it is less easy to detect the dimming that is going on.
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Re: Where is best place within Totality Path?

Post by rbenton » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:29 pm

Alexandra and Robert are both correct. I have seen four total eclipses, and (because of the incredible nature of your eyes) the scene never seems as dark as a photographic record suggests. I tell people it gets about as dark as twilight – just dark enough to see some of the brighter stars. The horizon is much lighter, however, as you are seeing the sky that lies beyond the moon's shadow.The closer you are to the center line, the better. No matter how long they last, every eclipse is way too short! You are going to love it.

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Re: Where is best place within Totality Path?

Post by marktownley » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:26 pm

2 cool vids there!
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