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Yup. I can now find walls with my face in total darkness.

Growing up in NY (and living the majority of my life on the East Coast), I always felt the opposite- every time I go to the West, I'm amazed by how much open space and prairie there is. It feels like

My parents and uncle went to Carbondale, IL Monday. My uncle is an amateur photographer and got some pretty neat pics. Nothing you haven't seen elsewhere at this point but still pretty cool.   One no

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So, in Connecticut, we ain't going to see ****?

I was thinking about this comment. Aren't you used to not seeing **** in Connecticut? I spent a month there once and I swear all I saw was trees and strippers.

 

I am obviously exaggerating, but as pretty as Connecticut was, and as cool as the trip was, I have never been more glad to get back to the mountains. I was suffering from what I can only describe as claustrophobia from always being surrounded by ****ing trees and not being able to see what was around me. It is disorienting for me not to be able to see mountains in the distance and get my bearings.

 

Besides, it's expensive for an Idaho boy to get a buzz on at sea level on Connecticut beer. And the strippers weren't that great*.

 

*Disclaimer, they are the only ones I have seen, so take the review for what it's worth.

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Is it just me, or doesn't it seem like we get one of these once in a lifetime eclipses every year or two? At some point I just tuned them out.

Solar eclipses occur on average every 18 months, somewhere in the world. There's always at least one per season, and sometimes up to five in one year (not often, though). The rarity is in its passing through a large swath of the US, coast-to-coast. There hasn't been an eclipse that passed through this much of the US since 1918 or so. So it is a rare opportunity for Americans to see a solar eclipse without traveling too far. The next such opportunity won't appear until 2024, and it won't be as widespread as this year's. The next one that goes coast-to-coast won't be until 2045.

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Looks like its going bang through the middle of Idaho, Mark. Will you have to travel far for optimal viewing?

Not far, about 30Km

 

Thats good, cause if it turns out to be anti-climactic then you've not hiked too far for no reason, and if its awesome its awesome.

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No, not much going on in CT. We do have a couple of great casinos, though. Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. I was at Foxwoods, last year, for the first time in 20 years. It has grown tremendously. Not Vegas, mind you, but still very impressive.

 

Yes, lots of trees. Trees produce oxygen. So, that's a good thing. They haven't infected us, yet, to kill ourselves or others. Also, a good thing.

 

Strippers? Not sure about them. I haven't been to a strip club in years.

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Solar eclipses occur on average every 18 months, somewhere in the world. There's always at least one per season, and sometimes up to five in one year (not often, though).

 

You goofed up one of those sentences. Not sure which.

 

Anyway, I've had that opinion about eclipses since I was a teenager. All of them seem to come with someone saying that you won't see another one like it for 30 years or something. It's not a new thought, I've been dismissing them for pretty much my whole adult life. Maybe this is indeed a special one, but I'm afraid the astronomers have cried wolf several too many times for me.

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Not season as in spring, summer, autumn, winter, but eclipse season, of which there are two each year, based on the position of the moon in its orbit when it is even possible for an eclipse to occur.

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Not season as in spring, summer, autumn, winter, but eclipse season, of which there are two each year, based on the position of the moon in its orbit when it is even possible for an eclipse to occur.

Okay, never heard of eclipse seasons. Still confused as to how it could average one every 18 months if it has to happen at least twice a year and sometimes up to 5.

 

Months are still months, right?

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Is the range 31 to 37 days sufficiently month-ish? I'm considering both lunar and solar eclipses, by the way. That might reduce the confusion. It's all a matter of orbital mechanics. The moon's orbit is inclined relative to the Earth's orbit; if it weren't we'd have lunar eclipses all the time. I'm not certain how far to go in the explanation, given your stated indifference to the matter, so I'll leave it at that.

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It's just a matter of averages, Poe. There's a month-ish-long eclipse season that lasts somewhere between 31 to 37 days, depending on the relative positions of sun and moon in our sky, then another season about 6 months later (ish). The cycles don't sync perfectly with our Gregorian calendar, so it's not going to work out to be a clean number of calendar months.

 

Anyway, I'm sorry for the confusion - looking back I may have been considering only solar eclipses when I posted sometimes, or both lunar and solar eclipses when I posted other times. Let's settle it - there are on average two solar eclipses over a three year period, so once every 18 months or so. There is some kind of eclipse every eclipse season, either solar or lunar.

 

Most of the time these solar eclipses aren't visible in North America, and rarely cover such a relatively large section of it. So your original assertion was correct - these eclipses are common, every year or two, so it wasn't a "once in a lifetime" event the way it's hyped. It is just rare for Americans to not have to leave the continent, or at least the borders of the US, to see a solar eclipse, and particularly rare for it cross the continent coast-to-coast.

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Anyway, I'm sorry for the confusion - looking back I may have been considering only solar eclipses when I posted sometimes, or both lunar and solar eclipses when I posted other times. Let's settle it - there are on average two solar eclipses over a three year period, so once every 18 months or so. There is some kind of eclipse every eclipse season, either solar or lunar.

 

Okay, that makes sense then.

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So, in Connecticut, we ain't going to see ****?

I was thinking about this comment. Aren't you used to not seeing **** in Connecticut? I spent a month there once and I swear all I saw was trees and strippers.

 

I am obviously exaggerating, but as pretty as Connecticut was, and as cool as the trip was, I have never been more glad to get back to the mountains. I was suffering from what I can only describe as claustrophobia from always being surrounded by ****ing trees and not being able to see what was around me. It is disorienting for me not to be able to see mountains in the distance and get my bearings.

 

Besides, it's expensive for an Idaho boy to get a buzz on at sea level on Connecticut beer. And the strippers weren't that great*.

 

*Disclaimer, they are the only ones I have seen, so take the review for what it's worth.

 

Growing up in NY (and living the majority of my life on the East Coast), I always felt the opposite- every time I go to the West, I'm amazed by how much open space and prairie there is. It feels like another planet or something. I remember the first time I took a road trip to the mid-West and then through Kansas out to to CO, and although conceptually I guess I knew it'd look different, it was more different than I was prepared for. I was like damn, everything is so dry and brown and vast and flat, and where are all the freaking trees? And then bam! All of a sudden a wall of mountains sticking straight out of the prairie as you approach the front Range in Denver. It's still sorta amazing every time I fly into Denver (well, it also helps that its airport is way out in the middle of freaking nowhere), but in the approach and then landing, I'm always a little taken back how you can just see for miles and miles in every direction and it's super flat and featureless and there's no vegetation.. and then in the distance the Rockies suddenly rise up a few thousand feet, just west of the metro area.

 

It's kinda cool actually, there are lots of other areas where it's like this in CA, and in Wyoming and you have the sky islands in AZ and la cruces in NM and so on and so forth, but the CO front range always sticks the most in my memory just because it was my first trip to the Western US.

 

I've heard other people from out West say the same thing Marc, once coming East. Once you go east of the Mississippi, it's just so different, almost everything is covered in dense forest. You can be driving through the woods through New Jersey and then very suddenly just pop out of the tree cover and see the Manhattan skyline. I remember I was picking up a friend from Dulles Airport near DC one time and we were driving through the Virginia suburbs and he asked how much further until the city center, and I was like.. ehh maybe 20 min, we've gotta go through all the suburbs, and he was all confused and said he expected it to look more built up. And I was like, well it is, you just can't see it.. there's dense trees on both sides of the freeway, maybe occasionally you'll see an office building or two poke up from beyond the trees. This guy was from Houston though, so I can understand... there's basically no tall vegetation at all out there and you can just see urban sprawl going out to the horizon in every direction.

 

This tree effect is most pronounced IMO in Atlanta.. if you ever go there Marc, you'll see what I mean.

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I love how the trees kind of make it weird on the East Coast.

 

Light pollution is what does night sky viewing in. So sayeth Captain Obvious. Big Bend is amazing for night viewing but I've never seen the Lights of Marfa, mostly ball lightning and weather balloons and I spent an entire night out there wanting to see these fantastic things.

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