Kearney had many eclipse watch parties and we
were going to attend the one in Cope Stadium, but as we left our motel,
we saw people setting up to watch the eclipse from the parking lot behind
the hotel and decided that it made more sense. We had a small tree for
shade, could use our own chairs and have our cooler.
The eclipse began at 11:33AM and we slowly noticed the
covering up of the sun, viewing it though eclipse glasses. Shortly thereafter
we saw that the sun filtering though the leaves of the tree above us was
forming crescent bright spots in the shadows on the ground.
As the eclipse progressed, there was a definite change
in the quality of light and the day started getting a little cooler, instead
Finally, only a tiny edge of the sun was still visible
and the partial eclipse quickly passed through the "Diamond ring" effect
to total eclipse at 12:57PM. There were perhaps 50 people scattered around
the area where we were and over half of them cheered.
With the corona of the sun flaring out around the moon,
the moon looked even darker, like a hole in the sky. I took three quick
photos with the camera I was holding, but it was not focusing properly
and I switched to a second camera which was already mounted on a tripod.
Not wanting to take the time for more careful photos, I picked the camera
& tripod up and took 14 photos in about 20 seconds, than sat the camera
back down to just watch the sun.
About that time, I heard someone shout "look at the horizon!"
The horizon was outside the totality and was the color of dawn or dusk
in all directions. I took a quick 15 second, 360 degree video of that effect,
noticing that nearby street lights had come on. I returned to looking at
the sun for the few remaining seconds, calling out, "put your glasses back
on" when the diamond ring started to appear again.
We watched the now partial eclipse through the glasses
for a couple of more minutes as the thin spot of sun expanded on the opposite
side. The area around us quickly became brighter as our eyes had adjusted
to the darkness.
With the remainder of the eclipse being a mirror image
of the first half, we soon packed up and were on I-80, heading east ahead
of the traffic from Kearney and points west. Traffic was light until we
reached the Hastings/Grand Island exit. From there on, there was heavy
traffic, several times dropping to a complete standstill. People could
still be seen watching the last of the partial eclipse at rest areas and
other spots along the way.
We left I-80 at Lincoln, just as it was starting to really
back up and had good travel the rest of the way.
Linda taking a break after we set up to enjoy the eclipse.
The leaves of the tree above us acted as a natural pinhole camera,
projecting suns on the ground.
This couple drove to Kearney from Los Angeles to watch the eclipse.
The first photos taken with my Canon PowerShot SX60 were out of focus
and I didn't want to take the time to try to do better.
Taken with my Nikon D5200
The white spot at the left is the planet Mercury. (Prints
of this photo)
Traffic headed east on I-80 after the Total Solar Eclipse