Monday, August 28, 2017

*☾ - A Rambly Post About Astronomy & The Solar Eclipse - ☽*

 (a.k.a. a very ramble-y, nonsensical post about space... and things. Prepare yourself)

If you've been hanging around this blog for awhile, two things are possible. 1. You have great tolerance for putting up with me (congratulations for that), and 2. you might have noticed that I am sort of obsessed with astronomy.
In fact, I consider myself an amateur astronomer.
My love for the night sky (and even the day sky) has always been around, but first began to show itself among my many interests when I took an astronomy course for high school (which seems like so long ago). I also saw Dr. Jason Lisle in person, around the time that he had just published "The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky" (a greeeeeaaat book btw if you are clueless about celestial objects/events and you want to get started somewhere), and I was rather depressed at the time that I didn't have enough money to buy the huge book (which was something around 20 dollars; a fortune for me back then). But a couple years later, in 2014 or so, my mom bought the book for me when I was doing the astronomy course! I was pretty happy, folks.
I learned a whooolllle lot with that book.

It was around this time that I really began to take an interest in astronomy.
Not only the aesthetic of it, but the wonder of it. I mean, have you seen this video? Outer space is amazing! Do you realize if you floated up into the sky, past the planets, past interstellar space, past our solar system, you would just keep going and going and going?
There's nothing out there.
And there's everything.

(one of my favorite star clusters)
 ☾ * ☽
Anyways. I said all of that to say, that on August 21st, 2017, I saw (what has been called) the Great American Solar Eclipse.
I saw the moon pass over the sun, people.
Did you hear me?
I saw the moon.
Pass over.
The sun.
And I can't. believe. it's over. It felt so surreal the whole time. It still feels surreal. Like a really amazing dream that cannot possibly be true.
But it is true.
It happened.

NOT MY IMAGE. (not sure who to credit. : / )
I had the safety solar glasses, of course. Hopefully they were 'safe' ones, as there were apparently a lot of controversy about fakes out there. All I can say is, my eyes seem ok, but hopefully I won't go blind in a few years. (even though it would be worth it, I think)

 ☾ * ☽
I made a pinhole viewer to watch the progression on the ground. And I saw crescents everywhere. Through the holes in a colander, through my pinholes, even through the shadows of the leaves on the ground!
And then.
I looked up through my glasses, and I saw the last smidgen of sun disappear. I also saw the diamond ring before it faded out.
(photo credit to whoever took the shot)
The outdoors around me went dark, and the nighttime creatures started to make their sounds.
Then, I looked up (without my glasses this time) and I saw the most beautiful thing I think I've ever seen. 

It was a big, dark circle, with a bright ring of light around it. But it wasn't a smooth ring. It had, like wisps. It was totally amazing. I don't want to break any copyright laws, but here's a photo of what it looked like. 
(and I can't credit the photo because I don't know who took the shot. #please don't sue me)
Guys, it was so surreal. I have never seen anything like it.
I saw stars! I saw sunsets all around the horizon! I saw a beautiful, bright planet (pretty sure it was Venus or Jupiter), all at 1:10  in the afternoon! 

By now in this post, I feel like I'm just saying the same things over and over again. If you didn't see the eclipse, you are probably really bored right now, and I probably sound like some nutty stargazing fanatic-who-doesn't-know-that-much-about-outer-space-and-science-but-likes-looking-at-stars-and-moons-and-suns-anyhow. (But you know what? That's what I am.) And that's ok.
All I can say is, God is amazing.

Millions of people saw what I saw. Can you believe that probably a lot of them still don't believe that God exists, or cares about them? In wonder if and how many people were affected on a religious level by this eclipse. It's interesting to think about.
☾ * ☽
As for myself, I feel more in touch with God (if that is possible. He has always been as 'in touch' with me as He's ever going to be, but you know), and His creation.
I feel more in touch with the universe.
I feel like the sun is my friend now. The moon has always been my friend (throwback to my old profile picture, anyone?), but now the sun is special to me too. I just can't observe it as well. But I can learn about it.

Photo Credit: ME
Speaking of cool and interesting things, I am lucky enough to have a great memory of the eclipse to look back on through the years, besides just pictures. A friend from St. Louis sent me a postcard with an eclipse stamp! This postage stamp is different because it is heat-sensitive. So when you put your finger over it, the moon appears! 
And look at the post mark: 21 Aug 2017, the day of the eclipse!!!!!!!!!!!! (look at me, using all of those exclamation points... #yourfangirlisshowing)
Definitely the coolest stamp I own out of all 2000 something that are in my collection. 
I'm so happy right now, people. And amazed. And inspired. And everything.

I'm going to leave now. For I am sure that I'm boring you. 
Time to binge watch space videos on YouTube. 

☽* Amaris *☾  

p.s. Before I leave, let me just share a video. This is one of the best ones I have found. I just get excited all over again when I watch it. I love how this guy captures the cheers and excitement of the onlookers. 

That is all!


  1. That video was amazing. THE ECLIPSE WAS AMAZING. I think I'm going to try to write a post on it; it certainly was an adventure.

    And that stamp though! Probably the coolest stamp I have ever seen! And it's postmarked on the day of the eclipse!!!!!

    Your thought process is so similar to mine. I was thinking a LOT of the same things you said in this post! :D

    Have a wonderful week!

      Certainly something to remember.
      Yes, I am very blessed to have that stamp. It is a very neat one to add to my collection. :)
      That is so neat that we think alike so much! I'm glad you enjoyed. :)
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. This is probably my favourite post of yours ever. ❤ I so wish I saw it!

    1. Thank you, Naomi! Don't worry: there will be others I'm sure. :)


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