https://xkcd.com/2914

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A partial eclipse is like a cool sunset. A total eclipse is like someone broke the sky.

  • @Maggoty
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    5022 days ago

    When I was a kid I was lucky enough to have an eclipse pass directly over head. I’ll never forget that.

    • @TropicalDingdong
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      2422 days ago

      Its hard to describe it to any one that hasn’t experience it.

  • @[email protected]
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    4222 days ago

    Now I looked up the next total eclipse in europe. Spain 12 August 2026 here I come!

    Btw, is a total eclipse that different from an annular eclipse? Anybody got tips on what to do?

    • @[email protected]
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      22 days ago

      An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farther out, making it appear smaller than the sun. So when it covers it, you still see a ring of sun. Cool, but not spectacular. You need special glasses for sun viewing the entire time. It looks like so:

      A total solar eclipse is when the moon is closer and appears as large or larger than the sun, completely blocking it. This creates a temporary night-like environment for a small section of the earth. It also makes it so that you can view the sun’s outer atmosphere, which extends away from the sun in ghostly white outcroppings. This is always there, but the sun’s surface is so bright it usually drowns it out. It appears about as bright as a full moon, viewable with the naked eye. The moon itself becomes absolutely, mesmerizingly black. Even very-science minded persons have described it as a religious experience

    • @[email protected]
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      22 days ago

      in an annular eclipse you don’t get the “someone broke the sky” thing. It basically means there’s always bits of the sun sticking out from around the moon.

      Edit: so bascially the whole spike in the middle of the graph is gone

    • @[email protected]
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      1322 days ago

      If you are in the path of totality, go find a spot early on and just kind of hang out - bring snacks and water and a book. If you aren’t familiar with the area, download a map on your phone because the cell network might be slammed with people. Don’t look at the sun without solar glasses until totality. The moon takes a while to move in front of the sun and the light level gradually drops, but you won’t notice it until probably 90% of the sun is covered. Once totality occurs, you can look at the eclipse with the naked eye.

      It is beautiful and indescribable and I was profoundly moved when I watched the 2017 eclipse. I will watch the upcoming one, provided the clouds don’t cover it.

      Once the eclipse is over, prepare to wait for traffic. It might be a while to get out because so many people go to such a small area.

    • @[email protected]
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      22 days ago

      I think the problem with this one was how close it was to to sunset.

      Global Event: Total Solar Eclipse, in Spain

      Start of Partial: Wed, 12 Aug 2026, 19:30 CEST

      Start of Totality: Wed, 12 Aug 2026, 20:26 CEST

      End of Totality: Wed, 12 Aug 2026, 20:33 CEST

      End of Partial: Wed, 12 Aug 2026, 20:46 WEST

      Sunset:

      • 20:49 - Wednesday, August 12, 2026 (GMT+2)
    • @[email protected]
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      222 days ago

      If you go north/west, the eclipse will take place a bit higher over the horizon. If you go to the eastern part/coast of Spain, it will be very low to the horizon, which would maybe suck inland but might be cool over the ocean.

  • @[email protected]
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    3922 days ago

    Having seen a total eclipse before, I know solar eclipses are in danger of being overhyped. IMO, they probably aren’t worth driving across the country. But if all you need is a 3 to 5 hour drive to get to the path of totality, I think you should absolutely do it. They’re legit. Not, like, life changing, but legit. Find a place with a few trees so you can watch the crescent shadows and maybe hear some wildlife freak out.

    • @ZMoney
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      1322 days ago

      Unless it’s cloudy

      • @[email protected]
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        822 days ago

        I’m in the path of totality but I fully expect it to be overcast here. Because of course it would be.

    • @Malfeasant
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      621 days ago

      As someone who drove across country for the last eclipse - Phoenix to bfe Oregon - it’s worth doing once in your life. Even in the middle of nowhere, there were enough people around that when the moment of totality came, there was a very audible collective gasp, it was pretty awesome.

  • @Donjuanme
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    2422 days ago

    I was quite impressed by the 20…17 eclipse over California, imo get lucky with a clear day, and stand near a tree without leaves, look at the kaleidoscope of shadows cast by the tree onto the ground, it’s indescribable when shadows don’t look like shadows any more.

    • Ms. ArmoredThirteen
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      1122 days ago

      2017 one went spot on over my hometown when I was lucky enough to have moved back there for a couple years. No traffic to get to a good spot just wandered outside during work to watch it all happen. The shadows were more fascinating to me than the sky it was incredibly surreal, it felt like an immersion breaking shader glitch in a game

      • @[email protected]
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        722 days ago

        2017 was the first one where I could notice it but coverage was at only like 40% in my area. The shadows were by far the most hallucinogenic thing I have seen sober. Especially on the tree leaves in the breeze? Magic.

        I haaaaaaate that I’m at literally 91% for 2024 with intermittent clouds.

      • @[email protected]
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        522 days ago

        Shadow snakes? At least that’s the name I recall from Smarter every day talking to an eclipse pro/fan.
        Sounded very cool, if I recall right it’s a phenomenon you can observe shortly before, and especially right after, a total eclipse.

  • Björn Tantau
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    1822 days ago

    I still regret not pestering my parents enough to drive me out when there was a total eclipse in Germany.

    • @Viking_Hippie
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      1322 days ago

      To be fair, it was a pretty long drive from where you were living at the time, Azerbaijan…

  • @Etterra
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    1022 days ago

    Meh I saw a full solar eclipse as a kid and it was fine. I mean it’s not like we’re seeing photographic proof of life at Alpha Centauri or something.

    • @[email protected]
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      -1422 days ago

      Schools are canceling for this by me. It’s being treated like some sort of religious revelation.

      • @brygphilomena
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        3022 days ago

        Seems like a thing schools could take kids outside and yea know, teach them with?

        • @[email protected]
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          1322 days ago

          The schools are just scared of having to prevent hundreds of children from staring at it without proper protection. It’s probably a good call, kids are dumb.

          • WalrusDragonOnABike [they/them]
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            22 days ago

            From my understanding, its mostly a logistics things. Some tiny towns are expecting to having huge surges of people and their infrastructure can’t handle it. So they’re telling people to stay at home instead and declared states of emergency. One school district already bought the glasses and are just giving them to students because of this.

          • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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            22 days ago

            We had one when I was a kid, and they had us poke a hole in a piece of paper, and then stand with our backs to the eclipse and watch it’s shadow develop on the ground as projected through the paper. It was cool, but not as cool as actually seeing it directly.

          • @brygphilomena
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            322 days ago

            The protective glasses are cheap, and there are lots of potentially dangerous things kids do at school.

          • @Malfeasant
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            21 days ago

            I’m still salty over my elementary school, it was either 4th or 5th grade so would have been 1985 give or take a year. Total eclipse right in the middle of the school day. If they had cancelled school, I’d have been ok with that, but no, they cancelled recess and closed all the blinds and made us just sit there. Surprised they didn’t make us hide under our desks.

            Edit

            After digging into this a bit (because of course I can’t leave it alone) it probably wasn’t a total eclipse… Not like I would remember since I didn’t get to see it… But the only one that fits the time and region was May 30 1984, which was annular, and would have been 90-95% where I was…

        • @Land_Strider
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          722 days ago

          Tbh I remember we even readied sunglasses or similar stuff and went out for partial eclipses during the school days. It just made sense to include this in the teaching.

        • @_skj
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          522 days ago

          Depends on the location and timing. For a lot of the northeast part of the path, the eclipse is going to happen right after school lets out. Most of the students would still be on their way home

      • @dustyData
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        2222 days ago

        Well, it’s a really cool thing that you only get a once in a lifetime chance to witness first hand unless you have a shit ton of money for travel (most people don’t). So I say, let them have it.

  • @gmtom
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    722 days ago

    I’m curious what does an eclipse look like if your right on the edge of totality like do younget a full eclipse for like 1 second before it ends?

    • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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      922 days ago

      We live outside the edge of totality for the last eclipse. The sun became insanely bright, and changed colors, and all of the shadows had crescent shapes to them. It was trippy.

      • @[email protected]
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        722 days ago

        Yeah I was outside the edge of totality last eclipse and the first thing I noticed was how much brighter the traffic lights looked. It’s weird how my eyes adjusted to perceive the darker day as normal daylight but both the sun and other lights seemed so much brighter.

    • @DrPop
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      522 days ago

      Like being brought to the edge and then being disappointed that you couldn’t be taken all the way. I was outside of totality last time, it was like the moon avoided the last week of sunlight. Bright as hell even with the glasses.

    • @EvilBit
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      422 days ago

      Basically yes. Nearer the center of the path means a longer totality.

      • @[email protected]
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        22 days ago

        I just landed in Houston, mainly to see the eclipse next week. Originally I was going to view from Austin, but it’s because of this that I decided to trek to Dallas instead.

        Essentially “totality” is inside the moons shadow. Since the moon is spherical (well, mostly), the shadow it casts is a circle. That’s the path of totality.

        I know you know this, I’m just saying this because you see that black band and you think all totality is the same. It’s not. If you’re on the edges, imagine a big circle shadow. Easier to visualize this way.

  • @LordCrom
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    520 days ago

    I’m the director of an observatory. We expect 3000 people to attend our free viewing event.

    Eclipse starts at 1ish… I had some even ask if that was am or pm.

  • tiredofsametab
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    320 days ago

    Kinda bummed I’m on the wrong side of the planet for this. I guess Japan is a pretty small target to hit. It was neat watching the last one in the US on TV here. I remember as a kid in either the late '80s or early '90s we got to see one during school hours.

  • @[email protected]
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    20 days ago

    Went to Houston Space Center today and there was a presentation on the eclipse. I guess they will have an event there on Tuesday Monday, but at HSC they are only going to be 90%.

    I’m planning to see it from Dallas, but I really wanted to speak up when she said “it’s still gonna be great”.

    It will be nothing compared to actually being in totality. And I don’t know why anybody in greater Houston that has the day off would spend it at HSC instead of actually inside the path.

      • @[email protected]
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        120 days ago

        Good catch lol. I’m all jumbled up. I’ll be in Dallas Monday, and coming back to Houston on Tuesday.

  • @[email protected]
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    221 days ago

    We had a partial eclipse here in 2000. It was at noon, and I took an hour of from my job to watch it. Was still a pretty cool experience.

  • @chiliedogg
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    120 days ago

    I called thunderstorms on Monday years ago knowing I’d be in the totality, and dammit if it doesn’t look like I was right.

  • @Gabu
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    21 days ago

    When, to our puny little eyes, the sun is in effect infinitely bright, 9% of infinite is still infinite.