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Total Eclipse of the Heart

The Forge Collective Blog Birds N Bones Jewelry
- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -
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A total solar eclipse is taking place on Monday, August 2. This is an exciting and rare event where the path of the sun and moon intersect and the sun is completely obscured by the moon. When this celestial coincidence occurs, the sun and moon appear to be exactly the same size, even though the sun is really 400 times larger than the moon. The result is that only the sun's bright halo, the corona, is viewable, and we experience a rare phenomenon that many of us have never seen, several minutes of midday darkness.  In order to see the total eclipse, you must be within its path of totality. Those not in its direct path will view a partial solar eclipse. 
This eclipse will be viewable from the contiguous United States and it's the first total solar eclipse since 1979. It is also the first time a total solar eclipse has traversed the entire country since 1918. The eclipse's path will begin in the pacific northwest, in Salem, Oregon and will arc across a diagonal path to Charleston, South Carolina in the south east. It will begin just after 10am PT and will conclude just before 3pm ET as it travels its path across the U.S.
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total Solar Eclipse GIF
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During the total solar eclipse, when the sun is completely covered, it's as bright as a full moon and can be viewed directly without any special eye protection. When viewing a partial solar eclipse, part of the sun is still partially viewable because the moon only covers a portion of the sun. Because of this, it is still very bright and potentially very damaging to view directly. To view safely, use special solar filters or eclipse glasses. Even the darkest sunglasses are not suitable! 
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We learned a new word while writing this blog, "Eclipsophile," those that travel in order to seek out celestial events. It seems like this rare event is creating quite a lot of eclipsophiles, and why shouldn't it!? This kind of event only happens once every few decades! On the west coast, people are flocking to Eastern Oregon. Not only are there many locations in the area of totality, but it's also nearly the first place the shadow hits landfall, and has slightly more reliable eclipse viewing weather than the Oregon coast. There are several festivals popping up, offering music, arts, and science, all in honor of the eclipse. 
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Another novel idea for viewing the eclipse that some are attempting is viewing from an airplane! The benefit here being, you're above the weather so your view won't be thwarted by fog or clouds. Additionally, you're actually closer to the sun with a more direct view, which results in less distortion from the atmosphere, and the potential to view the eclipse for longer. Beyond the undeniable benefits of this, it's just a really cool perspective to view such a rare and fascinating occurrence! Rather than standing below looking up at the sun as it's obscured and darkness encroaches, you'll see the sweeping shadow of the moon as it travels across the earth. But beware, you'll want to make sure your seats are on the correct side of the plane for viewing! The idea of watching from a plane has me wondering, "what would it look like from space"!?
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The unique position of the moon in relation to the sun has strong astrological implications that impact all of us directly. Eclipses signal the passing of one phase and the beginning of another. Solar eclipses occur about every 18 months, so use this as a time to set intentions for that next time frame. Also, take time to think about the past 18 months and what is concluding for you. While the eclipse will ultimately affect each astrological sign and each person differently, it all boils down to what you experience personally, and what you're going to do with that experience. As you think about what that experience might be like and how you want to allow it to impact your life, take a peek at our lunar jewelry. It just might help you navigate this experience, or at the very least, be a lovely memento of this rare celestial phenomenon. 

 

Curious Insight

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