It’s August 21, 2017. An ordinary Monday, but then again, not really. Today is the day that the first total solar eclipse from coast-to-coast in the United States since 1979 will be happening. And the next one is in just seven years, which is very soon, considering total solar eclipses are usually far apart.
Lindsey and I are going to be viewing the eclipse from our neighborhood park. We won’t be able to see the entire eclipse, since we’re in Alaska, but we’ll be able to see part of it. The moon will come in from the right, cover the right side, then cover the bottom, and then sink before covering the left side. Like this:
And with our special glasses, we’ll be able to look directly at the sun! But not for more than a minute at a time – we have to rest our eyes so they don’t get damaged.
In addition to loving animals, I’m also interested in the solar system and eclipses and the stars and things like that. This is a big day for me.
“The eclipse should be starting any minute now,” Lindsey tells me. “I guess we can put our glasses on.”
I slip mine over my glasses and look up at the sun. The moon isn’t covering it yet, so it just looks like a bright, round ball up in the sky. I avert my eyes so they don’t get hurt. I don’t want to spend too much time looking up at the sun when the eclipse isn’t even happening here yet.
A couple minutes later, Lindsey and I look back up. I gasp.
I can see the edge of the moon covering the sun!
“Wow!” Lindsey shrieks. That’s awesome!
Chocolate Chip barks up at the sky. Lindsey and I grin at each other and laugh.
After resting our eyes again, we look back up. Even more of the moon is covering the sun, making the sun look like the moon at night, like roles were reversed.
“That is so cool,” I say. I’ll never forget this day, or the amazing eclipse. Seven years from now, I’ll look up at the next total eclipse and remember this one.
Half an hour goes by, with Lindsey and I periodically checking the sun. It’s now at its peak for Alaska. The right side is almost completely covered.
Another hour later, I sigh regretfully as the moon slips under the sun, revealing the glowing ball of bright gas. “It’s over.”
“Yeah, but don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened,” Lindsey reminds me, quoting Dr. Seuss. “And you were smiling a lot.”
This makes me grin. Lindsey and I start packing up our stuff.
“Hey, Lindsey,” I say. “Do you want to watch the next eclipse with me?”
Lindsey laughs. “It’s not for seven years!”
“I know,” I say. “But do you?”
Lindsey doesn’t hesitate. “Of course.”
And we head for home.
How did you guys like that photostory? Unfortunately, it’s not as cool as I would like it to be, because a) I took the pictures with my mom’s iPad, b) it was raining, c) I felt very pressured for time because I didn’t want to get the iPad very wet, and d) the dolls are wet in the pictures. So there you have it. I promise my next photostory will be better.
However, I’m glad my first one could be about such a memorable day. Did you guys watch the eclipse? If so, what was it like for you? It was too rainy here to see it, so we watched it on TV.
-AGs in Alaska-