Back in 2013, I recall being awed by Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Solar System. In the first episode of the documentary series, Brian travels to Varanasi, India to witness a total solar eclipse. The footage is astounding. I had never seen anything like that in video…and certainly not in person. Howard Trottier, one of our interviewees and professor of physics at Simon Fraser University, once described to me the total eclipse he saw as “transcendent.” We tend to think of the universe as static. Earth and humanity are in motion while the sky remains somewhat the same. But here…here the universe shows that it is alive, dynamic, changing, evolving. Here we see the chapter headings in the story that is the cosmos; a story that we are a part of. I have to see it!
At the time, I wasn’t certain where we would be with the documentary. I certainly didn’t think it would become the grand adventure that we’ve been on since the launch of Shuttle Atlantis. However, I did think that if we were still working on the film by the date of the Great American Solar Eclipse, then I really wanted to be there.
This coming Monday, August 21st, is predicted to witness the largest migration of people to see spectacle of nature in human history. The path of totality, the region where the sun will appear completely eclipsed by the Moon, crosses the United States from Oregon to South Carolina and we’ll be in the path!
We have secured press credentials for Oregon Solar Fest. Madras, Oregon is one of the hot spots along the path of totality given it’s record of clear skies for this time of the year. Protected by the mountain ranges from the more rainy coastal weather, we are aiming for clear skies while we bring our camera gear; one wide angle shot of the sun with the crowds with another camera set up to my telescope for a close up as the Moon crosses the sun. If you’re going to be in Madras, be sure to connect with us on social media.
Inspired by Brian Cox’s video, I think we’re in for a life changing experience. Paul was able to contact Christopher Titus-King, the Director of Photography on the shoot with Brian in India who gave us some pointers on gear and setup for the Eclipse in Madras. Christopher’s memory was drawn to the silence; a silence that swept over the crowd of thousands as the Sun vanished.
We will keep everybody in the loop on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we head down to Madras on the 19th. Be sure to watch this incredible spectacle of nature! (With safety glasses of course!)