Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 6.29.00 PM.pngAs a toast to glorious eclipsing, here is my last Hydrogen Alpha photo of the Sun’s chromosphere taken yesterday.  SOL burst its on pimple (upper left quadrant)  leading to massive CMEs; some communication black-out warnings; and green, red, and purple Northern Lights  And then, THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN tomorrow!  Not only will we be blinded by the light and dark, we will be made deaf by the possibility of our cell coverage and a good chunk of all our communication going dead.   Hmmm.  Happy Total Eclipse? 


TOTAL ECLIPSE OF MY HEART  [Amor] leads us off for multiple reasons. The last total solar eclipse viewed from contiguous United States was on Feb. 26, 1979 which few saw.  It’s path passed through the northwestern United States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. I could not afford to travel to see that one.  I understand why folks today who work don’t see the point, as in Oregon, they will be picking up all those folks’ trash, dope, drugs, bottles…and worse.  I heard that complaint at the Ferry Dock yesterday from  WSF workers: a white dude with a drawl and an African American, together harping over the fact, with no one in line at the ferry dock.

*Pass this section for those only interested in present science *

[“Remembrance of  The Last Total Eclipse

“In 1979, I was making $5-7/hr as a technician at a large GTE factory (forerunner to Verizon). Big money then.  I studied hard for the ‘Logic Gates’ test to show I was “Technician Quality.” Passing this test put you in a class of low-level intellectuals at the plant. We saw things somewhat differently and some us were assigned to fix systems world-wide on the company nickel (A term now passe as a nickel is not worth very much).  This group were a sort of embryo for IT today, that led many down the path of the System Analyst; Programmer; and Administrator.  Really, not much different from what you saw in “Hidden Figures,” except there was no overt discrimination among us and what discrimination occurred was from way above our pay grade at the factory in the hiring and firing.

“There were some who had weird, racist opinions at the time about who rightfully had a job, etc, but since we all had a quota, it did not pay to make enemies here.  You never knew: that white-racialist supervisor guy who hated the idea of a guy like me living with his Mexican-American girlfriend out-of-wedlock (no common law in Illinois) might need me to cover for him with an extra 30 minutes of work, so his section made quota that day.  We were given baskets like old milk crates that you now buy in multi colors for storage.  They were set up at testing stations.   Each basket had 5-6 circuit boards about 10″ x 10”,  filled with individually soldered component components, like resistors and transistors, etc.  like old milk crates that you now buy in multi colors for storage.  Our job was to find the shorts, open circuits, bad supply of components, and make them work.

“We all saw the  women slaving at the assembly line soldering stations in the production lines 200 feet away from us, mainly women of color and on the lines, and we all remembered what it was like to be “in production” with no breaks, except two and lunch.  While some of these lowest paid workers were making a minimum $2.50/hr to 3.25/hr, even that white racialist had to admit, they worked too hard for what they were given.

“The factory floor forced you physically and mentally to come to term with your prejudice, or in the politer words of Prof Dr. Richard Feynman: ‘Training. That’s the only cure for looking at someone or something a certain way based of what you wanted to see.’ The factory was a great ‘trainer’.

“In terms of how we saw the technology, every body knew it was the future and less physical work, but no one thought of the final consequences except those making money like GTE on the component-level assembly, attempting to hold it back or slow it down.  It was just a better job; a way to turn a blue collar into a white collar and get some needed respect. Seriously.

“The ‘Electronics’ test was easier, and this is was the bread and butter of GTE. Holding back progress with resistors and capacitors soldered onto a circuit board allowed the human factor to be greater and for GTE to charge for labor at each step of that process.  No new engineers were hired to design stuff.  Nothing new happen on the surface. Even my work at Zenith a year early seems advanced compared to GTE. There I saw and worked on “laser discs” and mastered images [some of which may have gone up with the Voyagers].  All was stagnant on the shop floor, let me tell you.   Living with my girlfriend who worked, and listening to a new, weird form of music – The Clash and Sex Pistols – which being weird, was not played on any commercial or “music matters” radio stations.  Everyone had CB and had by then turned it off.  And believe it or not, we were all we ashamed of our blue polyester disco suits by then.  We all though there had to be a better way. This is just before the Iranian hostage crisis.]

“I drew this picture of Winter, 1979 in America for you, because none of this had anything to do with with the release of “Total Eclipse of The Heart” four years later in 1983.

“I think if we are trying to view things about other civilizations, based on some stones like Stonehenge or Standing Stones on some windswept islands, we should keep our own recent historical experience crystal clear. We come to this Total Solar Eclipse carrying a lot of human baggage. We could not even see a total eclipse. Most of us at lower elevation. It was Winter. In those days, that meant snow, ice, clouds.”]

* Continue on to present science here *

Many have been thrown back –  unceremoniously –  to the 1960’s using pin hole boxes rather than our promised Hoverboards with solar filters.   Will we be ready for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 visible from Texas to Maine? Not like this!

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 7.39.13 PM.png

Did it. Not doing it again. I felt stupid then. Feel more stupid now.

Seriously not everyone bought solar filter eclipses glasses until the very last minute, did they?  In the event many folks are attempting to stream the event including myself. But really if you are having fun communing in an empty wilderness with your beloved Total Eclipse of the Heart, far from the maddening eclipse, continue to do so.

Here is NASA LIVE STREAMING and here is eclipsing for the workers: the schedule if you have to work on Mondays like most Americans (not a link, go to NASA-TV).

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If you think that is The State or Kingdom of Hawai’i  on the Sun, you are not alone. In our reality, it is a string of sunspot in the Photosphere I snapped today with a 10″ LXD-55 and a Seymour glass yellow light solar filter and my iPhone 7 as itself through a 40mm eyepiece not at prime.  Can you see the similarities of the white sunspots and magnet lines and the black sunspots in this photo. They are the same set of stuff happening on the Sun leading to this beautiful Aurora taken by my friends in Iceland. The deep red and purple come from nitrogen ionizing and recombining and the green and bright red is oxygen ionizing and recombining in the interaction with the electrons and hydrogen ions in the CME as it enters Earth’s magnetosphere… 

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