Q: We were in the zone where an almost total eclipse occurred. Looking through our NASA-approved glasses we saw only a very thin sliver during peak occultation. It was interesting but we were a bit disappointed that it never really got all that dark! In fact, an hour later, we experienced a huge downpour and it was darker during the storm than the eclipse. Why?
L.H., of Wood River
A: You should have come to Red Bud, where I and my best college buddy were nearly dumbfounded by one of the most incredible experiences of our lives.
During 2 minutes and 11 seconds of totality, being able to see the sun’s corona streaming out in all directions around the black moon was almost magnificent enough. But despite the relative briefness, you couldn’t help but look away and soak in the conditions that had turned the clouds on the horizon into a palette of gorgeous pale pinks and oranges in a darkness (and coolness) that resembled late sunset. It was nothing short of sensational.
Unfortunately, the sun is so powerful that even that thin sliver of light was enough to prevent these conditions where you were and why the thick storm clouds that followed were enough to make it seem darker. That’s why the instant the sun emerged from totality, we were warned to slap our glasses back on as the skies immediately brightened considerably. Many thanks to Red Bud for a friendly, festive party with music and food without making us feel herded like cattle. Now, let the countdown begin for April 8, 2024.
▪ Personal note: I’m sorry I didn’t have time to reply, but I hope the elderly caller who left the phone message now realizes that no man — not even a spiteful president — had the power to stop the moon in front of the sun and plunge us into eternal darkness.
Where is entertainer Danny Thomas buried?
Answer to Wednesday’s trivia: If you find a January 2013 copy of Georgia magazine, you’ll see Waynesboro, Georgia, population 5,700, billed as the bird dog capital of the world. Since 1903, it’s home to the Burke County Field Trials, which have been a staple for bird dog enthusiasts throughout the country. It reportedly features the largest open-shooting dog competition in the world and is one of only three derby championships in the country that can qualify a dog for the national championship.