Solar eclipse lights way for Southern Californians eager for ‘one of nature’s spectacles’ – California News

Solar eclipse lights way for Southern Californians eager for ‘one of nature’s spectacles’ – California News




Surely you’ve heard by now about what will happen on Aug. 21: a total solar eclipse, with its path crossing the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.

But it’s likely you learned this information after Cameron Hummels did.

Hummels started planning his Aug. 21 trip way back in 2009, right after he was dazzled by seeing a total solar eclipse in China.

“It’s one of nature’s spectacles, like the aurora (borealis) or the northern lights or volcanoes or some of these really amazing natural phenomena,” Hummels, a researcher at Caltech in Pasadena and an astronomer, said. “With an eclipse, at least you know when it’s going to happen.”

Hummels will drive up to Fossil, Oregon, a tiny town with a population of less than 500 people. That’s where a friend has a farm, right in the path of the total eclipse. He’ll camp out with about 100 others and is planning lectures and events for any eclipse fans who show up.

Nik Arkimovich, an amateur astronomer and volunteer at Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles, started planning his trip to see the eclipse along its “path of totality” 10 months ago.

“Actually, I was a latecomer,” Arkimovich said. The tour group of about 250 people that he and his wife wanted to join had already booked up. But they lucked out when a few others canceled. Now, they’ll head to Casper, Wyoming, all for the few minutes of the stellar event.

“I can’t oversell this,” Arkimovich said. “It is the most spectacular celestial phenomenon you can possibly witness.”

All for a moment

So, just what will happen on Aug. 21? The moon will move between the Earth and…

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