Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

The 2017 Solar Eclipse as experienced from the observation deck of Cincinnati's Carew Tower.

Andrea had told me about the solar eclipse awhile ago. Not only is she the person who puts up with my spelling and grammar mistakes while editing the longer, more detailed articles here, but she’s also an astronomy expert. She knows all kinds of awesome facts about the subject and is very active in the local astronomy community. While her description of the eclipse sounded interesting, I wasn’t particularly up for a drive to the Kentucky/Tennessee border and knew millions of others were already documenting this. These past few days, the consensus seemed to be that everyone was sold out of glasses and that Cincinnati wouldn’t be fully covered. I remained pretty indifferent about the event until a few hours before when a coworker gave me a pair.

I sent a text to CinyPhil: “wanna try and see if from the Carew Tower?” He was already on his way there, Cincinnati minds thinking alike. So, just as many other Downtown Cincinnati workers did, my coworker and I took our lunch break late and headed outside.

- Attempting to make a "pinhole" view of the eclipse.

I have to be honest, the whole thing seemed a little anticlimactic. Granted, I was well aware that we weren't in the best geographic region for viewing it. Seeing the eclipse itself through the glasses was pretty cool, but I figured the effect on the ground would be more dramatic. It did get noticeably darker for a time and you could feel the temperature drop significantly, but if you’d been avoiding all mass communication lately and were completely oblivious, it still probably would’ve felt like any other day here in the Queen City.

Nevertheless, it was cool to take it in with so many others at the Carew Tower’s observation deck (which probably made more money in one afternoon than it does in a whole month).

I shot a 15 minute video and sped it up 5,000x to about 17 seconds. At first glance it doesn’t look like much, but if you look closely you can see the light drop a bit before starting to brighten up. There’s also a shadow that sweeps across between 7 and 10 seconds.

Photos from the observation deck:

- View of Downtown Cincinnati from the tower. While it did get noticeably darker, Cincinnati didn't see nearly as dramatic an effect as other areas of the nation.

- An empty observation deck after the crowd has departed.

- The mass exodus to leave the observation deck had a line running from the elevators to the access stairs/hallway.


  1. That video is really cool. Great pictures, as always. I caught glimpses of people on several rooftops downtown today. It didn't occur to me to go to the observation deck on Carew Tower.

    Anyway, I have to say that I'm definitely not an astronomy expert. It did feel good to read that, though. Thanks!

  2. Seeing my dad on Queen City Disco is more surreal than the actual Great American Eclipse itself.