There may have been some who were disappointed about cloud cover during the much-publicized and hyped solar eclipse – but from the optimist’s point of view, the planning, preparation and excitement was a day for science to earn a place in the hearts of everyday people.
In Dearborn, Mo., a sleepy little town off I-29 on the way north from Kansas City to St. Joseph, Mo., Mike and Susie Lyon stood out on their front step in downtown Dearborn and caught the first glimpses of the eclipse as the moon appeared to slip in front of the sun. They wore their eclipse glasses they got from attending a class earlier this month from a local astronomer. “I’m just waiting ’til it’s totally dark so I can take a nap,” quipped Mike.
A bit further down the road, in downtown Plattsburg, what looked like a class of amateur astronomers was actually retired aerospace engineer Tom Killgore and his family and friends from Tulsa, OK, staked out in front of a home he rented for the event.
“I’ve been planning for this for 10 years,” said Killgore. Over a period of years, Killgore purchased enough telescopes and setup for the group to be able to individually enjoy the experience. “We found the house about a year ago and rented it.”
His own setup included several cameras on tripods, but a special setup involving a telescope that automatically recorded timed captures for a time-lapse sequence and a wide angle bubble-front lens that took in a super wide scene of its entire surroundings.
His wife Connie Rush and her friend Diana Barbee helped the grandkids and the rest of the group keep their equipment setup – and protected when some rain droplets fell during the coming and going of cloud cover.
Killgore explained his telescopic photography setup:
Killgore also had a cool project he created, which he explains here:
Today, we witnessed license plates from as far away as Idaho, Texas, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin – to name only a few – who came to Missouri to be a part of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse event here.
Everywhere we went, we observed people in good spirits, joining together in parking lots and camping sites…enjoying not only a fun science event, but also a peaceful human event.
For a day or two…a few hours or so…a powerful and wondrous event in the sky seemed to bring us all together with one word in common: