Ford, how do you felt in watching the Solar Eclipse?
It had an eerie feeling about it that I was not expecting… As a man of science, I know of course all these events can be rationally explained, but lets just say that you shouldn’t mock ancient cultures for reacting with fear and terror at these happenings unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
A sort of strange stillness came over us as we neared totality. The air dropped in temperature remarkably fast, and the dimness of the light around us gave the sense that something had gone wrong. It was sort of a sense of uncanny valley to be sitting in the bright sunlight, but everything around you is cold and dim. Five minutes before totality birds started to panic and fly above us, singing. A pack of coyotes howled in the distance. Had we not been expecting this, I can easily see why one would believe it to be a mystical, apocalyptic event.
We witnessed the shadow bands across the ground looking like shadowy snakes moving through the grass. The sun was blotted out and the sky fell dark, but the horizon still glowed. Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter popped in to view, like bright stars in the dark sky. And then the sun was just a thin ring. The corona (yes, not the chromosphere) extended on either side, glowing brilliantly. And then, just about a minute later, a spot of bright light appeared on one side of the ring as the moon began to move away. We had to put our glasses back on, and before we knew it moving away and totality was over.
Pictures and videos really do not do it justice. To be there and to feel the cold air, to sense the tension of the animals around you, to watch the world slowly dim was incredible. I don’t usually use this word, especially for an event that is explained and predicted by science, but I would even go so far as to call it spiritual.