Wednesday, 8 March 2017

March 7 1970 memories

A lot of eclipse chasers were recently sharing memories of the March 7, 1970 total solar eclipse that went up the eastern seaboard of the USA. Like this summer's eclipse, the path could be accessed by many living in near by large cities. And thus many did.

From some well know experts in eclipse chasing from the Solar Eclipse Mailing List on Yahoo:

  • I watched that same eclipse on TV, with Frank Reynolds of ABC doing the "play by play" of it, while I was sitting in the den of the fraternity house I was a member of at USC, in my sophomore year there.....   I had always wanted to see a total in person, but had had no clue as to how to actually go to see one....
  • For various reasons we ended up in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn near Cape Charles. I think it has since been taken over. It was not the existing Holiday Inn further north. If necessary, weather-wise, we would drive south on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which had just re-opened after having been attacked by a ship! However, the weather was absolutely perfect! There were white sheets from the motel beds in the back of a truck, on which shadow bands were quite evident. I have a set of slides, with fixed exposure. As it gets dark, the slides get dark on the outside scene, but the lights inside the motel room windows start getting brighter! And of course, during totality, cars with headlights on drove happily in both directions on the highway beside the motel!

My own experience with that particular eclipse is less dramatic. I was unable to attend totality because I was involved in a swim meet that weekend. My only view was wearing a Speedo walking out front of the natatorium with a solar filter. I was in Ohio, so it was only a deep partial, yet I was not going to miss it. The result was a view through partly cloudy sky and a thorough tongue lashing from my coach. It was March, in Ohio, there was still some snow on the grown, and to make things worse, I almost missed my event. No one knew where I had gone and I barely made it back to the pool deck in time to swim. I will say this, I remember the water feeling nice and warm.

This summer's eclipse occurs on a Monday and I do hope many are able to get out school or work and see it. Even the partial is fun to see.

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