In just over a few weeks, a 70-mile wide strip across the U.S. will turn dark during daylight hours. It is being called the Great American Eclipse (never mind that the eclipse will travel across a part of the rest of the globe, as well).
On Monday, Aug. 21, an arc beginning in Oregon and traveling through Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska, and on through South Carolina. County residents who are traveling for the sight will view it from Wyoming and Nebraska. Bring a camper or a tent, they say, with accommodations expected to be full the night prior.
It has been about 100 years since a full coast-to-coast eclipse of the sun took place, according to reports. (Solar eclipses, not coast-to-coast, have been more frequent – 1979, to be exact).
The eclipse will only last two to three minutes, and you will have to be within that 70-mile “Path of Totality” for it to be, well, total.
Those who have experienced an eclipse say that nocturnal creatures can briefly emerge, while diurnal creatures are suddenly inactive. Most of all, it is a reminder of the force of the cosmos.
For some, it ought to produce an interest in the solar system, including a reminder of the influence of the 15th century astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, whose model of the universe placed the sun, rather than the Earth, at the universe’s center.
In Cortez, the eclipse will be about 80 percent, meaning a gray dark, but not fully dark, sky. It will occur about 11:30 in the morning.
A party is planned at Mancos State Park, and free eyewear will be available to the first 100 attendees. The Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores will host a free viewing party, the Eclipse Extravaganza, with hands-on activities, viewing equipment and live feeds from the path of totality.
Is that sufficient for a local eclipse celebration of some sort for those who are not traveling further afield? It could be.
Protective glasses are available online, although one website claims that a kitchen colander will work just fine. Just don’t look directly at the sun.
“Ceremony of the colander?”
Let’s hear some additional ideas.