Did you know for many people, they only get one (if that!) chance in their lifetime to see a total solar eclipse? It’s true! They are such rare events that many of us won’t have another chance to see one here in North America until August of 2045! And even then, it won’t be in the same places that it will be on April 8, 2024.
So what makes a total solar eclipse so special? Well, I’ve written about what you can expect during a total eclipse and how to observe it safely, but what really is the “wow factor” is the visual images, sights and even sounds that occur leading up to, during, and after the eclipse!
That’s right, I said sounds! As the eclipse happens and we entered into a few precious minutes of totality (the period when the sun is totally obscured 100% by the moon) nocturnal animals will often emerge and begin their nightly rituals – after all, they don’t carry watches with them, and have no idea it’s only the early afternoon! Listen closely and you may hear owls, crickets and even coyotes in the distance. Even everyone’s favorite the whip-poor-will is likely to begin his very noticeable call!
Look quick and you may also catch a bat out for his “evening” meal, see birds head to trees to nest for the night, chickens and roosters settle in for the day, as well as a myriad of other animals of the day start to wind down thinking the sun is setting. Even though totality only last for a few minutes, at most, a quick, observant eye can catch the world around us settling in for what they think is the night.
As you observe totality you may get a chill, and feel the wind pick up a bit. As the sun gets obscured the earth around us begins to cool down a bit at night. The wind picks up as the temperature falls a few degrees. Another awesome phenomenon of a total eclipse! Plus a good science lesson about how critical the sun is to the earth to keep us not only lit up during the day, but keep up warm so we can grow crops for food and enjoy nature and the world around us.
For those of you in towns and cities, you will see streetlights start to come on and even signs on businesses start to light up to fill the darkness. Even people in rural areas and on farms will notice dusk-to-dawn lights suddenly pop on.
It’s been observed during totality that the world around us will even get a little quieter as animals settle down, and people take a few moments to observe the eclipse in silence. During ancient times people weren’t quite sure what these eclipses were and interpreted them very differently than we do today, some civilizations thought the gods must be angry with us, while others thought that the world itself was coming to an end. Whew! I’m glad we have a much better understanding of the science behind them nowadays!
Wow! I’ve been talking a lot! See, I told you I love solar eclipses!
Before I go, let me leave you with one more resource – some information I put together on why it’s so important to see the April 8, 2024 total eclipse! I really believe it’s a going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, and I hope you’ll be able to join me in witnessing it! In the meantime, let’s keep in touch – sign up for my newsletter and each week we’ll have some fun and games, and learn even more, about this amazing celestial event!
Bye for now!