(Photo credit: Alan Spies)
Wow, what a day it was at the St Joseph Rosecrans airport, where on the 21st August forty three very excited Aussie eclipse chasers waited for the skies to clear to witness the great American Total Eclipse of the Sun.
We left Kansas City for a 100 kms drive to St Joseph at 3.30am because of warnings about the traffic and we were lucky to have a clear run to the airport, because it was dark when we arrived I even got to see the constellation of Orion the right way up instead of upside down, like I see it here in Australia :-)
The skies became more cloudy as the morning progressed, but we had so much fun talking with all the media and giving lots of TV and radio interviews to explain what people would expect to see. We also made friends with a lot of the local people who were just amazed that we had travelled all the way from Australia to see the eclipse.
Just before first contact the skies become a lot more threatening and the local sheriff came along and told us that a storm cell with hail was about to hit, so for a little while we took cover but kept a watchful eye on the sky.
Because of the weather we missed the partials, but we kept telling everyone not too worry as they would still experience the amazing darkness of totality, and just a few seconds before the Sun was eclipsed it began…
It grew dark quite quickly with an eerie bright golden light all around the horizon and because of the cloud it got very dark, a group of little songbirds darted all over the sky not knowing where to go. We were all scanning the cloudy sky just hoping for a break in the clouds when all of a sudden we heard this mighty roar come from the other field, everyone over there had seen something, it was like being at a soccer match, it was just incredible!!!
We knew that they had seen something but the sky was still cloudy, and then it was our turn, a small break in the cloud and there it was, the total eclipse of the Sun in all its glory with its beautiful corona….Wow!
It only lasted about 5 seconds before the clouds started to roll in again…but Wow, we had all seen it, and everyone on the field was just in awe from the whole experience!
In the end because of the weather, both my husband and I just quickly grabbed our cameras and on video mode captured the whole event.
Please see some images below of our amazing day, I know it wasn’t clear, but the overwhelming changes in the environment around us still challenged all our senses just the same if not more, because it became a it became so much darker with the cloud… it was just awesome!!!
This amazing trip to the US was organised by the Sutherland Astronomical Society in NSW, we went all over American visiting the different space centres and also many of the historical observatories including the beautiful Griffith Observatory in LA, and it was a fantastic trip, I'll write more about it later....
Now, bring on USA 2024 for the next solar eclipse :-)