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There are four separate events that link me to the coming solar eclipse.

(1) On August 21, 2017 there will be a total solar eclipse at the site of my mother’s side of my family’s farms. In the 1960s the Eidemillers owned a mile and a quarter of farms adjacent to Dogwood Lane, (44.6792 -121.1793)  just north of Madras, Oregon airport. The farms are on the line of maximum eclipse and will observe totality for two minutes and four seconds. Those viewing the eclipse from our old farms will probably see the ring of diamonds effect of sunlight shining through mountain valleys on the moon.

The yellow line represents maximum totality 2 min 4 sec. White outline is of the Eidemiller farms in 1960s.

The path of this eclipse also passes over Malden, Missouri, where I was a student pilot in the U.S. Air Force class of 1959H, and over Charleston South Carolina, where my father’s mother was born and for which some boys in our family were named. She loved that city and had a melodic way of saying, Charles. Everything in this post is nothing more than fun coincidences for me.

(2) On the morning of July 09, 1945, I watched the sun rise totally eclipsed with my grandfather Glen Eidemiller and his son Glen Eidemiller Jr. near Wilder, Idaho (lat/lon 43.6322 -116.8895). They both moved to Madras in 1948.

Eclipse July 09,1945

I was near Wilder, Idaho, before the sun rose and watched it rise totally eclipsed.

(3) In 1965 I was working and living (lat/lon 37.3417 -121.6420) at Lick Observatory near Berkeley, where I lived most of the time. It was the astronomer William W. Campbell, an earlier director of Lick Observatory, who had proven Einstein’s theory that light rays would be bent by gravity, which proved Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Campbell did that on his third attempt by photographing a solar eclipse that went over Australia. His earlier attempts in Crimea and Goldendale, Washington, were frustrated by the overcast weather. The stars near the sun on his photographs were clearly shown for the first time to be closer to the sun than on identical photographs taken of the same location in the sky at night.

(4) In 1952 I lived across a field from the Hanford 300 Area (46.3507, -119.2762) where until recently there was nothing but an empty field. Now between my former home it is 9.5 miles of empty fields to where the LIGO project (46.4552, -119.4077) observed gravity waves for the first time. The gravity waves were created by very large black hole masses, overlapping in eclipse-like events and creating fluctuations in time-space.

Hanford reactor, Richland, WA

In 1952-53 I lived in a trailer in the lot beside the STOP sign. LIGO would be viewed on the left edge a 9.5 miles out.

As a child, I had no control over my location at any of those events and yet I was there.

 

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