Monday, April 08, 2024

Watching the April 8, 2024 Eclipse

We had a lovely time watching the eclipse this afternoon. While we weren't in the path of totality (we were about 85%), we did notice a significant gloaming effect (another vocabulary word from today) as well as an accompanied decrease in overall temperature. 

Here are the youngest four kids (plus a neighbour, in the aqua/teal/blue-green shirt) gawking at the sun, having just put on their glasses:

They're a pretty cute bunch:

Here's Phoebe trying to figure out her glasses:

We usually held them on her face for her, honestly, because she's not very good at wearing glasses (and eyesight is precious). 

We also brought out a colander so that she (and others) could watch the eclipse progression through the shadows.

Here's Benjamin holding the colander:

Things were much easier to see when our neighbour brought out a piece of paper for the shadows to fall across:

We also enjoyed seeing how the shadows fell—collections of moon slivers—through the leaves of the trees:

Here's a picture Rachel took with her phone through a special filter that came with our eclipse glasses:

Here's Daddy being silly:

And here we are taking an eclipse selfie:

Grandpa arrived shortly before 3:00 to watch with us for a few minutes (the point of greatest totality for us was at 3:04):

Now we have another spare child in this photo (the one with the slightly blue hair on the far right):

When we first moved in our neighbourhood really didn't have any kids to speak of. Now it's a rather bustling place! When the kids want to play with someone, all they have to do is wander into the cul-de-sac and a friend is bound to appear!

Here's Grandpa laughing about something...

After everyone had more or less moved on from the afternoon's event (but while the moon was still making its exit), another neighbour came down with a lens he built for his wife's camera for the kids to try:

Grandpa asked why everyone was so worried about looking at the sun during the eclipse, since he and his siblings used to play the sun-stare game:

"Are the rays more concentrated or something?" he asked.

"No," I said. "I think it's just that...people typically stare longer at the sun during an eclipse than they do when it's not an eclipse. The sun is so bright that you really can't see the eclipse with the naked eye, but people try to...and that's why it's dangerous."

But I was full of baloney. 

As it turns out, because the sun is being blocked out by the moon, making the world a bit darker than it would otherwise be, your pupils dilate to let in more light, and that's why it's worse to look at the sun during an eclipse (until totality, which I've never had to worry about, though I do hope to one day get to experience a total eclipse).

Here are some other posts about eclipses (and things):

One note is that Rachel mentioned back in 2017 that she'd be 16 during the next total eclipse—and she must be psychic or something because that actually happened! We really did have high hopes that we'd make it to a location of totality for this eclipse, but...obviously we didn't. 

Egypt 2027? (Haha! I wish!)

Somewhere in the United States 2044? 

That seems like an incredibly long way off! Rachel will be 37!

I guess the next big thing for us to watch for is the lunar eclipse on 03/14/2025. That sounds like it should be a good one!


  1. One is going right over my area and I think Durham, but it's like 2078 or something that. I plan to be in heaven way before then, but for your kids... ;)