UNITED STATES—Monday, August 21, 2017, it was an interesting day to say the least. It was day where a solar eclipse took Earth, America and almost every citizen in the United States and every other continent on the planet by surprise and with an efferent level of glee. I can’t recall the last time so many people were excited or interested in the world of science. Science is indeed important, but it’s not something we hear people talk about on a daily basis as if they live, breathe, sleep and eat science.
So I will admit I was very happy to see so many people drop what they were doing on Monday to take a look at our planetary system and how it operates. Specifically, purchasing or getting their hands on those nifty glasses to watch the moon perfectly align with the sun and creating a sight that is almost impossible to describe with words. It was a phenomenon people; so large that it required taking a multitude of pictures.
I do recall when I was in the fourth grade we had a solar eclipse and it was an interesting sight to say the least. What transpired? We couldn’t go outside for recess, and the teachers and the school was adamant: don’t look at the sun without protective eyewear! I recall that commentary so vividly and as a child, that only made me want to look at the sun that much more. You can’t tell a child NOT to do something, and expect them to follow those instructions. They have inquisitive little minds and just want to know, even if they don’t heed the advice of optometrists who warned staring directly into the sun during the eclipse could led to serious damage to the eyes.
The same notion applied this time around, but depending on what part of the country you lived in, you either saw shades of the eclipse, little to nothing, or in my case near complete darkness. I mean it was a thrill a second to watch the eclipse unfold on live television and see places go from being sunny bright, to absolute pitch black. I mean absolute darkness, like you can’t see anything around you; kind of scary, yet fun at the same time. Rarely, and I mean rarely does that every happen.
We get storms and clouds can be murky at times, but nothing to this magnitude people. We didn’t just have science nerds or geeks all involved in the melee, but the young, teens, young adults, middle-aged and the elderly all partook in a moment in scientific history as it unfolded across the globe. I mean it was so big even work environments allowed employees to take a moment to indulge in this sight for the eyes.
With social media we even got the opportunity to see some epic images of the eclipse as it transpired moment by moment, and if you had a nifty camera some captured pictures that will be iconic and so glorious they will be considered masterpieces in the near future. For those who did not get the opportunity to participate in the 2017 solar eclipse, don’t worry, the planet will be graced with another in the year 2024, which is only seven years. I must say I’m quite surprised that the time gap isn’t massive like 30 years or so from now!