The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, As Viewed From Laurens, South Carolina. What A Fabulous Day!

Image of the eclipse, the diamond ring, and Bailey’s beads provided by Barre Spencer and Patrick White using a Canon Rebel with a 200 mm zoom lens.  Location of photo:  Columbia, South Carolina

(s) Diamond / Baily's Beads 9

A group of folks from various places met outside of an Italian restaurant to enjoy the solar eclipse together.  We were all surprised how few came to this quaint little town to observe this historic event.  The totality duration was ~ 2 mins  34 seconds, and with perfect weather!    

During totality the sky darkened to a surprising level, but not as dark as a clear full moon night.  Venus appeared very bright in the western sky and Jupiter in the southeast.  I could not see any stars….naked eye.  

Both Debbie and I were amazed at the sudden flash of the diamond ring.  (See the image above) 

The temperature drop was very significant.  A weather bureau report from Newberry, SC, not many miles away and also in the line of totality, recorded a temperature drop of 11º Fahrenheit.  

We can assume that this temperature drop would have been similar in Laurens.  When the sun began to re-emerge, we noticed a shimmering of light waves on the pavement in front of us, known as shadow bands.  A very interesting phenomenon, that I was hoping we’d see, and we did!  

What an incredible day!  


Sunday, February 5th 2023:

One enjoyable day for myself and Debbie, was the August 21st 2017 total eclipse.  We didn’t have very far to travel…less than an hour to the line of totality, which was Laurens, South Carolina.  

Interesting, This morning (Sunday, February 5th 2023) 

I wore my Astronomical League (Total Solar Eclipse lapel pin) which I do quite often.  John Goss, who at that time was the President of the AL, sent both Debbie and myself this/these very nice and high-quality pins. 

If you are planning to “witness” and document the 2024 eclipse…see if the Astronomical League will have a similar pin.  It will become an heirloom for you, and your proof that you saw the event.  Not “likely” that this will ever be required, or that you’ll have to manifest for any reason, but you’ll have it….just in case.  🙂  

If your club is not a member of the Astronomical League, talk to your president.  If your club does not have an interest in being a member, become a member at-large.  

The Astronomical League does so much for amateur astronomy.  How about observing the Messier Objects and receiving a certificate, The Herschel’s, Double Stars, and too many other “amateur projects” to list. Let it be known, that everyone in an astronomy club doesn’t have to become an AL member.

I’m wishing all that are planning on observing the 2024 total solar eclipse will have “perfect” weather, and as much fun as Debbie and I did in 2017.

Be sure to document via the “written word” your thoughts, a few photos of the area, and the occurring events around you. Look for the shadow bands!  

A photo of the event is what most “eclipse chasers” desire….but try to encompass all that’s taking place around.  After all…they’ll be “most likely” thousands of photos of the actual eclipse, from still shots to videos.  Roger Ivester

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