Total Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017

Last revised: September 25, 2017


Neil Robin


Planned for over a year in advance, we wanted to view our second Total Solar Eclipse in real life, not on TV.  The first one was in NE Oregon in 1979 and was very memorable because we dodged the bad weather which occurred in Portland at the time.

I planned to view this event from Central Oregon where Madras and Warm Springs are on the path of totality and estimated to have clear reliable weather.  Lodging in this area was already booked one year previous but we decided to spend a few days at Sunriver Resort which we had many fond memories as our kids were growing up.  Very early, the morning of August 21st we drove to a pre-selected location which was determined earlier by astronomical data and consulting of Google Maps.  It was about 10 miles NE of Madras in farmland.  I thought we'd have the spot to ourselves but were we suprized!  The hills had all kinds of visitors and we were just a tiny part. 

People in Western Oregon lucked out this time and had mostly good weather.  Coastal Oregon was hit or miss.  Salem, Oregon had good weather and Ryan, Jenn and kids got to see totality from their back yard.

I built a solar projector to view the suns image before/after totality and used it to view the transit of Venus several years ago, it doesn't have much use during the eclipse except viewing the corona  I ended up not using it because I didn't want to distract from the main event which I decided was the dimming of the terrain during totality. 

What most people fail to realize is seeing the sky darken and stars come out is even more spectacular.  That's what I tried to capture in the attached video.  Some frames were out of focus because I forgot that this camera was designed for still photography with video being secondary. A DSLR camera of this type can't auto focus while in a running video mode because of the way the optics are setup.  I forgot about that.  Anyway, it does capture the darkening sky which was the intended goal.  The camera adjusts exposure automatically as the moon shadows the sun but the eye is also logarithmic in its response so manual exposure is not a straightforward solution, either.


Follows my attempt at taking a video of the event with emphasis on ground activities and terrain.  Certainly many experts have photographed the suns image with all kinds of sophisticated cameras and optics so it wouldn't be very enjoyable just repeating that.  It is in MP4 format via YOU TUBE.

Play Video

Out come the stars:

An interesting event during totality is the shining of selected stars and planets.  Venus was most obvious and the brightest.  Sirius was also another down lower to the south and more difficult because of the horizon glow.  You had to know just where to look  Much harder was Betelgeuse, the famous star in Orion and would present itself only to the experienced astronomers.  In the following image the eclipsed sun is shown as a "red" dot

Triumph for Science

It always amazes me that Astronomers can predict these events with such precision and location using mathematics, the scientific method, and years of knowledge gained and proven by important people such as Newton, Galileo, and Copernicus while the church even imprisoned them.  We have a "lying racist president" who fakes being religious to keep his poll numbers up but he's anti science. He uses this con to keep in the good graces of the weak minded.

Most religious scholars (laughable) representing some 6,000 religions can't even agree on the age of the earth, the so called "end of days" (latest prediction: Sept. 23rd but we're still here?), or why their "god" causes so much suffering and death, but he's a loving god????

Note: They always seem to need money to promote this con!

Judge carefully for the future of your children and competition with other non-religious society's for a viable future

Philosophy of Science: Discovery
Philosophy of Religion: Promote Ignorance