Monday, May 21, 2012

Total Eclipse in Southern Utah

While driving back from St. George last night, we marveled at all the traffic and cars parked along the roadside. We thought there was a race or something, but as we got closer to Cedar City, I remembered the solar eclipse. Totally by chance it turns out, we were driving through one of the best viewing areas to see the eclipse in totality. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was pretty freaking awesome.

Standing in the parking lot to grab some dinner in Cedar City, we started talking to a group of people who were holding up a piece of something to their eyes to see the sun without going blind. They were strips of x-ray film and the people were nice enough to give us a couple so we could see them ourselves. We drove on until the moon covered about 3/4 of the sun and we pulled off the highway onto a side road with about 30 other cars.

It was nice to see so many families gathered for the event, all with their pinhole papers and solar eclipse glasses. As the moon moved closer to totality, the light became strange, like it was filtered. Everything was quiet as everyone had pulled over to be present for the moment. As the moon reached the center, whoops and cheers erupted from our roadside crowd and we documented the moment with our pinhole shadow against our car - a thin sliver of hole.

As soon as the moon broke free on the other side, families loaded back in to their cars and headed home. We kept using our x-ray strips to document the eclipse as it receded until it finally dipped below the mountains and exploded beyond the horizon. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought it had caught fire with the way the sunset glowed red.