Awed By Totality: The Power of a Sliver

CivicStory's Susan Haig was in downtown Greenville, South Carolina during the Solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Here's her timeline.

2:12 pm - a crescent sun floods the crowded downtown riverfront park with daylight. 

Greenville, SC, riverfront behind the Peace Center

Greenville, SC, riverfront behind the Peace Center

2:18 - still very bright, but no glare and no sunburn. 
2:25 - the sun is a sliver, and people notice a weird light.

Joella Utley of Spartanburg, SC, and sun viewers in Greenville

Joella Utley of Spartanburg, SC, and sun viewers in Greenville

2:33 - streetlights are on, the sliver shrinks, excitement grows. 

2:36 - a sudden 'dip to dark'

Streetlights come on in Greenville, SC, as midday 'dusk' falls

Streetlights come on in Greenville, SC, as midday 'dusk' falls

Greenville - during eclipse IMG_4455 (1).jpg
Photo of corona by Reza Madhavan of Princeton, NJ, viewed in Greenville, SC

Photo of corona by Reza Madhavan of Princeton, NJ, viewed in Greenville, SC

Full eclipse from Salem, Oregon - Photo by Michael Grimbergen

Full eclipse from Salem, Oregon - Photo by Michael Grimbergen

 

The peak of the eclipse is the sudden darkness and exquisitely shimmering corona, so shocking at midday. But the greatest lingering surprise is experiencing the astonishing strength of the sun just a few minutes before and after the eclipse. Even when it's a tiny sliver, the sun's light seems almost normal. That it provides such full illumination when 97% obscured by the moon, shows the awesome intensity of its power transmitted to Earth on any given day. How much more there is to be harnessed by people, cities, nations.

 
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