Hello everyone it’s Demented Ferrets resident artist, Ruka. Welcome back to another “Universal Language of Art” post.
The eclipse of August 21, 2017, also known as the “Great American Eclipse” was a total solar eclipse. Visible within a band that spanned the continuous United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. what is an Eclipse and what are the different types of eclipses that we can experience?
What is an eclipse?
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration a.k.a NASA, “An eclipse occurs when one heavenly body such as the moon or a planet, moves into the shadow of another heavenly body.” There are two types of eclipses, a lunar eclipse, and a solar eclipse. The differences between the two depends on who is shadowing who.
A lunar eclipse only occurs on a full moon. Earth blocks the sun from reaching the moon and casts its shadow against the moon. In other words, Earth gets in between the sun and the moon. There are two types of lunar eclipses: a total lunar eclipse and a partial lunar eclipse.
Then we have a solar eclipse, this one is the other way around, it happens when the moon gets in between the Sun and Earth, casting the shadow on Earth. There are three main types of solar eclipses: a total solar eclipse, a partial solar eclipse, and the annular solar eclipse. During these eclipses, the moon casts two shadows on the Earth. The first one is known as the umbra, the darkest part of the shadow and the people standing in its direct path can see a total eclipse. While the second is known as the penumbra, the one that creates a partial eclipse.
WARNING! Never look directly at the sun, especially during a solar eclipse. For this, you will need a safe and protective way to experience this phenomenon.
During the eclipse of 2017, many Americans wanted to experience this event. Due to the concern of how to best look at the eclipse, many chose the solar eclipse glasses because they were the cheapest option. These were devices with solar filters mounted in cardboard frames. You could wear them like a pair of eyeglasses. Sadly, they were nearly impossible to find.
So it was time to be creative! Some used the pinhole projection method, consisting of a cardboard box and a little hole, allowing you to see a projection of the sun and its phases. This method was used as an art and craft for kids. There were other options like the welder’s goggles, telescopes with cameras, and many others, but if you did not have the budget it would have been hard to do.
Yet, surprisingly enough there is an easier way to watch an eclipse. All you need is nature itself. I was watching a live news feed when it was mentioned that shadows in trees will follow the path of the eclipse, and all you had to do was look down. It was nature’s way of showing us there was a safer way, and in this picture, you can see that I was able to capture the moment. How the shadows coming from a tree cast crescent moons on the white surface creating a sort of mirage effect of clouds.
The amazement that I felt at the moment, just fills me with excitement over the next solar eclipse expected to take place in 2024. I am an artist who grew up watching the moon rise from my window. I remember a night sky full of stars shining so bright that you could see not only the constellations but beyond.
For now, I am an artist who dreams of exploring the stars and all their phenomenons, and I encourage you to explore outer space and learn all the wonders the universe it has to offer. Until then, I’ll see you at the next one.
This has been Ruka of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you around! Until then please be sure to check out our other content below.
Sources: May, S. (2015, June 1). What is an Eclipse? NASA. Retrieved December 12, 2021, from https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-an-eclipse-58.