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The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 from Yellowstone

USA | Monday, 31 July 2017 | Views [446]

On August 21, 2017, Americans and Canadians will experience one of nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun at mid-day. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. You can even see the major planets like Venus or Jupiter in the twilight sky.

The corona is hidden from us all our lives except for the very special moments during the total solar eclipse. The corona’s gossamer crown of pearly light displays an ethereal beauty that transcends both science and nature. It hypnotizes the viewer into an altered state where time seems to stand still. The quality of light is stupendous with an amazing light show of iridescence, scintillation, and delicate colors. 

One cannot completely prepare yourself for the sight of a total solar eclipse. When totality arrives, you will experience primal emotions and wonderment at the unspeakable beauty of the corona and the panoply of colors and light as you've never seen before. You will involuntarily scream, gasp, or perhaps cry at this astounding vision. Here is a good Totality Experience

Where is the best place to see the 2017 eclipse?

The GTA will not experience totality, only about 75% partial eclipse. The sun's corona will not be visible, as that is only visible where there is a total eclipse.


What If It’s Cloudy?

The foremost criterion for selecting a viewing site is the weather. It's important that the weather co-operates -- if you can't see the sun, then you won't see the eclipse! It's important to watch the weather forecasts intently in the days before the eclipse. Eclipse chasers who travel around the world are sometimes stuck in the location they've chosen, and so they plan meticulously to seek out the most likely places where the weather will be clear. Many people chase totality by tuning in to weather reports and drive beforehand to a predicted clear weather location. Every eclipse viewer should have a plan for mobility with a good and uncrowded highway system.

Here are some Historical Cloud Cover Charts along the eclipse path

From the weather dice, the best bet is the leeward side of the Rockies – the rain shadow dry area with the possibilities of the clearest skies. And what better than to combine it with a trip to Yellowstone, as the path of totality passes just below the park (technically the Grand Teton which is the south side of the park). No wonder the American Astronomical Society has selected the same location (Casper, Wyoming – just south east of the park) as its preferred viewing site.


See the eclipse from Yellowstone National Park

So you are combining 2 great experiences in one trip. Yellowstone is an underground supervolcano whose hidden power rises up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. See Old Faithful, bison, wolves, and grizzly bears.

Yellowstone is the largest active geyser field in the world and is home to the most famous geyser, Old Faithful. There are also hundreds of colorful hot springs and pools such as the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, and the lower Falls of the Grand Canyon - the pink and yellow canyon walls that form the sides of three glorious waterfalls. The place is so inspiring that an overlook of the Lower Falls is called Artist's Point.

One of the best ways to experience the Yellowstone region is by spending a night or more under the stars. You can stay at one of the many campsites inside the park, at a nearby campground outside the park or camp in the backcountry.


Eclipse rush

Jackson in Wyoming, south of the park, and a 100 mile region around it are completely booked for accommodations on Aug 20 and 21. It is August and warm – so you can camp. I have chosen to camp in Rexburg, Idaho, a little west of the Teton park.

Flights are still available. I booked mine on the 18th to 22nd on Delta departing Toronto at $890 including taxes.

I was fortunate enough to be able to book a campsite at Canyon – a central region in Yellowstone. The area is experiencing a lot of tourists during that time and it is advisable to book early.

Tags: american solar eclipse, aug 2017, totality, yellowstone


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