When we started working at Luton’s Teton Cabins last year, we were told that an eclipse would be occurring in August of 2017, and that all 14 cabins had been booked since 2015. The first cabin was booked in late 2014. I thought who are these crazy people who booked years ago, just to watch an Eclipse? Well last week we had the pleasure of meeting 60 or so wonderful people that stayed with us for a week. It was absolutely fun getting to know our guests, and experiencing our first total Eclipse of the Sun on August 21, 2017.
Brad and Joanne, the owners of the cabins, decided to host a cook-out for all the guests the day before the eclipse. One guest Nelson Arnstein, a Nuclear Medicine Radiologist, put on a slide-show (with actual slides) from an Eclipse he viewed in 1999 on a cruise ship. He also talked about what we will experience during the Eclipse, and emphasized the best thing to do is just observe all your surroundings during totality. It was very informative.
We did not have to leave the property to view the Eclipse, as we were in the zone of totality. All of our guests stayed on-sight and set up their telescopes, cameras and lawn chairs early in the morning.
First contact occurred at 10:17 MDT, and it was exciting! Only a few of my actual photos turned out, as I did not have a solar filter for my camera. This photo was taken with our cell phone through the lens of one of the telescopes.
Several of the telescopes were set up with a camera attached to them, taking pictures every minute from first contact to last contact. I took a photograph of the telescope and what the image on the camera was taking.
Almost to totality!
Our group of fellow work campers! From left to right: Melissa, Erin, Shawn, Jodi, Al, Ken, Karen (behind Ken sitting on the fence), Joanne, Brad and Dan.
At 11:36 am, we reached totality, which lasted 1 minute and 56 seconds. During the 20 minutes or so before totality, there was a significant drop in temperature, and the winds started picking up.
During the time of totality, I was trying to observe as much as possible, but two minutes goes by pretty fast. There was one planet, I think it was Jupiter, that was immediately visible to the naked eye. But then I heard many people yell “turn around and look at the mountains”, and it was an amazing “instant” sunset over the Tetons!
And just like that, there was a bright flash of light, the “diamond ring” effect, and we had to put our glasses back on. Totality had ended, and cheers erupted from all the guests. Personally, it was an amazing experience. There was a lot of hype surrounding this Eclipse, and it completely lived up to the hype!
Last contact occurred at 1:00pm MDT. Bye-bye moon!
We had one large group from California, with many astronomers and photographers. After the eclipse was over, they popped champagne to celebrate a successful viewing (Dan and I joined in!).
The website for the cabins has a live webcam, which you can rewind up to 4 hours. Later in the afternoon I backed it up and took a few screenshots of the view just prior to totality, during totality, and the end of totality. You can see how the view changed.
This photo is 5 minutes before totality. The sky was getting dark.
This is right at totality, 11:36 am. There was a small plane chasing the Eclipse that flew over.
Just two minutes later, it was the end of totality, and we had daylight again.
It was truly a special experience, one that I will never forget. The next total Eclipse that will occur in the United States will be on April 8, 2024, starting in Mexico, going through parts of the United States, and into Canada. The totality is expected to be over 4 minutes! I can’t wait!!
Quote for the Day: “Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.” – Plato