Monday, August 21, 2017

UPDATE: Dorchester One Of Best Places In U.S. To See Today's Eclipse

Today, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, parts of this country will see day turn to twilight as the sun disappears behind the moon, causing the temperature drop rapidly and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon.

Today, a relatively select swath of America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.  And Dorchester, Nebraska will be right in the heart of this unforgettable (and extremely rare) occurrence.

In Dorchester, the moon will be in the sun's path starting at 11:36 a.m. and continue for 2 hours, 52 minutes. The total eclipse will start at 1:01 p.m. and continue for 2 minutes, 34 seconds

To give Dorchester residents a great view and experience, there are three great options to view the eclipse in Dorchester:

* DHS Football FieldStudents and community will gather at the Dorchester School football field (Nerud Field) for the event. Bring a blanket and view the eclipse from the field in your hometown. The concession stand will be open with "eclipse food" such as Starburst, Moon Pies, Sunkist, Bomb Pop Rockets, Sun Chips, and more! Hot dogs and walking tacos, as well as soda, Gatorade, and popcorn will also be served over lunch. The stand will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the proceeds going to the school library. 

* Tyser Auto Sales lot on main street.  This will be a community potluck lunch, with Greg Tyser providing pulled pork, brisket and stuffed cabbage.  Everyone is invited, and encouraged to bring goods to share will fellow eclipse watchers.  Come on out beginning just before 11:30 a.m.

* Saline County Museum: The Saline County Museum in Dorchester, just off Highway 33, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.  The museum will offer wide open space to see the eclipse.

The so-called Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. People who descend upon this "path of totality" for the big event are in for quite an experience.

We are fortunate that Dorchester will be one of the best places in the nation to view the Aug. 21 eclipse.

Here are the facts on the total solar eclipse in Dorchester:
  • The eclipse event will begin at 11:36 a.m. on Aug. 21.
  • The total eclipse (sun being fully blocked by the moon) will start at 1:01 p.m.
  • The total eclipse will last roughly 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
You will need ISO- or NASA-approved eye protection to view most phases of the eclipse.  

The Times staffers are not astronomers, astrophysicists, or experts regrading the cosmos, but we know that the basics of a total eclipse are that the moon goes in between the sun and the earth -- and as the moon "moves" across the face of the sun. 

You will need to be in that path in order to see the "total" eclipse.  Dorchester is nearly in the heart of the total eclipse path.  Click here for the 2017 solar eclipse map.

Here is what one solar eclipse expert wrote:
"We cannot stress this enough -- if you're in the path, you see what is perhaps one of the most phenomenal sights that human eyes can convey to a brain! If you're not in the path, even by only a mile or so (!!!!!), you will come away wondering what in the heck we even bothered to make this site for! And you will have completely missed the whole show. People fly to the remotest deserts, jungles, islands -- frozen, desolate, and mosquito-infested places -- just to be in the path of a total eclipse. So please, please, please: walk, run, fly, drive, hike, roll, thumb, or cycle yourself into the path on eclipse day, and you will not regret it! Miss it, and you'll have to wait till the next one in the USA (not till 2024). Take it from us -- do not think that you're "close enough" to the path to see something cool. Look at the maps ... please, please get yourself there by whatever means are necessary! Even if it's 1,000 miles or more! People will come from all over the world to see this grand spectacle."
The experts encourage people to look at the eclipse videos to prepare yourself for what you'll experience.  But they warn that these videos are NOTHING compared to what you will see with your own eyes during totality.

One experienced eclipse viewer wrote this:
"I've kissed the Blarney Stone, and seen the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, Ayers Rock, the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall, the Taj Mahal, the West Edmonton Mall, the Pyramids in Egypt, the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Stonehenge, the giant Sequoia Trees, Victoria Falls, Death Valley, the Panama Canal, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Meteor Crater, Yellowstone, the North Pole, the Midnight Sun over the Arctic Ocean, Shakespeare's grave, the Alps in Switzerland, the Grand Mosque in Istanbul, the geysers in Iceland, the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel tower, the CN tower, Sydney Tower, Shanghai Tower, Auckland Tower, Berlin tower, the Ring at Bayreuth and the Met, the Berlin Philharmonic playing Mahler, and my kids being born -- and I'm not kidding: A total eclipse is a spectacle to rival them all."


  1. Are either of the restaurants going to have eclipse specials that day? Like the Blackout Burger, Blackness Burito, Eclipse Enchiladas, or Blackhole Sun Salad????

  2. Your statement "You will need eye protection to view all phases of the eclipse." is not entirely accurate. While for most of the eclipse you need to have the solar glasses on, during totality you have to take off your glass to see anything including the Corona of the sun or "massive streamers of light" as mentioned above.

    Also please google search for solar eclipse glasses as the link provided is the most expensive I have ever seen them online. People will be selling them the day of but probably for even more. Or better yet check out one of the local clubs in your area as you can pick them up there for FREE or a maybe around a dollar.

    Admission is always free.
    Branched Oak Observatory
    --Open June 24 8pm-12am
    Hyde Memorial Observatory
    --Open Every Saturday night
    Prairie Astronomy Club
    --Meets last Tuesday of the month
    Omaha Astronomical Society
    --Meets first Friday of each month

    Traffic is going to be extra dense that day. Estimates are that between 1.8 and 7.4 million people will travel to the path of totality. It will be worse in larger cities that have activities planned.

    Board of Directors
    Branched Oak Observatory

    Vice President
    Prairie Astronomy Club

    1. Hope to see you post some of your pictures, Brett.


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