CharlesWorks Watching the Solar Eclipse Here in Peterborough NH

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Random Info, Web Hosting

Projected eclipse path through northern Vermont and New HampshireWell today was the day many people expected to be watching the solar eclipse. It was a spectacular total solar eclipse that darkened the skies in the northern areas of Vermont and New Hampshire along the Canadian border. This awe-inspiring event occurred when the moon passed directly between the Earth and the sun. Up in those areas, the moon completely blocked sunlight for a brief period. During that time, referred to as “totality”, daytime turned into an eerie twilight, with stars and planets becoming visible.

Driving to Watch the Solar Eclipse

Susan and I had thought about traveling up to northern Vermont to view it. It was all planned out a few days ago in my mind. My Google maps was all ready. At 10 am this morning we’d just hop in the car and head north. Google would guide our car up to a Subway shop on Fairfax Road in Saint Albans City, VT. It was a perfect plan. We’d be right dead center in the totality zone to see a total eclipse! It was going to be glorious!

Reality of the Drive Sets In

What I never really gave enough thought to was that everyone else would be doing the same thing. Susan had checked for hotel rooms in the area and there was nothing available. When we got up this morning, Susan saw reports of expected traffic. That rained on my parade. Plus there is always a lot of work to do here at CharlesWorks. So much for the trip up there to view it in person. We’d try to view whatever could be seen from our driveway.

Peterborough, where CharlesWorks is located, is in southern New Hampshire. We’re not quite 10 miles from the Massachusetts border. So I knew we would not get the total eclipse right where we are. But I figured we’d be able to see some of a partial solar eclipse. The CharlesWorks driveway would just have to do.

Safely Watching the Solar Eclipse

Evan using multi five layers of sunglassesOur next issue was that we did not have any special glasses to safely view the eclipse. I spent a little time gathering about five pair of sunglasses and testing them out. They did the trick. I had taped them all together to hold them in place. They didn’t look pretty but they made it comfortable to view the sun through them. That’s Evan wearing the taped together sunglasses.

Unbeknownst to me, while I was busy testing and connecting all the sunglasses, Susan was busy creating some viewers. She had found some instructions on using a cardboard box, white paper, and aluminum foil with a pinhole in it to create an eclipse viewer. I have some pics of it here.

Susan's homemade eclipse viewer Susan's eclipse box bottom screen Susan's eclipse box view area

All in all, Susan, Evan and I had fun viewing the partial eclipse in the CharlesWorks driveway. The weirdest part was the difference in light we could sense as the partial eclipse proceeded. It didn’t get dark, but the difference in the level of sunlight was eerie.

Susan and Evan viewing eclipse

I was able to take a couple movie clips of the eclipse at several times. They were horrible as I shot them holding my camcorder aimed through my 5 sunglasses filter. But luckily I was able to extract a reasonable photo from each of my three clips to put here. No where near as clear of what I’d have wanted but not bad for a poorly planned novice undertaking.

202404081507 Peterborough NH eclipse

202404081520 Peterborough NH eclipse

202404081524 Peterborough NH eclipse

And about the drive up there – at the time of this writing I am sure glad we didn’t. As it turned out many people took more than 10 hours to get back from up north in New Hampshire due to the traffic! I even heard a news report indicating there was more than 5 times the traffic that happens after the major holidays.

You can find more technical information about watching the solar eclipse and solar eclipses in general here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse

And, for those who may have wondered, solar (or lunar, for that matter) eclipses do not affect the operation of your website.

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