What to watch during Eclipse ?

Just before the eclipse
1st contact
When the moon begins to cover the sun

Dark Skies
: Light levels fall gradually at first, accelerating later. For about ten minutes before totality the skies darken considerably and temperatures may drop as if before a storm.

Changing Colors: As the eclipse progresses, you may see the sky change color and shadows sharpen.

Crescents: Watch hundreds of crescent shaped images of the Sun, created by tiny gaps between leaves in the trees, playing on the ground.

Animal Behavior: As darkness falls, observe how different species behave. Birds may roost, other animals may act as they would at dusk and flowers may close.

Advancing Wall of Shadow
: Watch a wall of shadow advance towards you as totality approaches from the western sky.

Shadow Bands
: Just before totality it sometimes looks as though the earth moves as sensational shadow band. Parallel strips of light and dark move rapidly across the ground

Bailey's Beads
: A number of brighter points, like glass beads are visible just before totality.

Diamond Ring
: A dramatic effect like a shining brilliant diamond set in a shining ring appears just before the eclipse.

Planets, Stars and Comets: Bright stars and some planets like Venus, Mars and Jupiter become visible and remain visible during totality.

At the time of totality
2nd contact
Totality, When the moon completely covers the sun

Chromosphere: The incandescent gas surrounding the sun can be seen as a pinkish ring around the edge of the moon's disc.

Corona: The solar corona is visible to the naked eye only during a total eclipse. Pearly-white streamers radiate outwards and close observers may see how the corona resembles a finely detailed engraving.

Period of totality: The period of totality varies from place to place and is usually lasts generally a few minutes to a maximum of seven and a half minutes.

Just after the total eclipse
3rd contact
the moment when the sun reappears from behind the moon.

Diamond Ring: The diamond ring effect again appears just after the eclipse.

Bailey's Beads
: These bright spots become visible again.

Shadow Bands
: These parallel strips of light and shadow similar to those seen immediately before totality may be observed.

Receding Wall of Shadow: Watch a wall of shadow recede towards the eastern sky.

Bright Skies: Light levels come back gradually to normal as in daytime.

When the total eclipse is over
4th contact
the moment when the silhouette of the moon moves off the solar disc and the sun reappears in full view from behind the moon.


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