Hackaday Eclipse Meetups

Hackaday is all over this eclipse. There are thousands of members of the Hackaday community headed to a narrow swath of the United States on August 21st to revel in an incredibly rare, scientifically predictable life experience: a total eclipse of the sun.

Do not do it in solitude, get together and celebrate! Check out the Hackaday Eclipse Meetups page which shows where meetups are happening. And adding your own is simple. It’s a great day to meet up with other Hackaday readers and celebrate the day that the moon passed perfectly between you and the sun.

You can’t just stare directly at the sun, you need some eclipse glasses. We’re printing up some in black, adorned with the Jolly Wrencher and sending them out to all organized meetups, so get your event page up today and you’re on the list for a little bit of sweet swag. Look for the button on the Eclipse page that says “Host a meetup”.

I’m Too Cool to Watch an Eclipse

If you don’t get what all the hubbub is, you’re missing out. A total eclipse of the sun is an amazing life experience in so many ways. First off, they’re incredibly rare. There hasn’t been a total eclipse visible in the continental United States since 1979. The majority of the North American readership hasn’t even had the chance to see one in their lifetimes.

This eclipse shadow visualization is incredible. See the entire transit and learn how they produced this from available data

But of course it goes beyond the value of mere scarcity. Being able to understand, and predict an eclipse conveys a great deal about the progress of humanity. For millennia, a solar eclipse was a shocking (perhaps horrifying) experience. But through the scientific process of observation, the advances of record keeping, and the work of untold numbers of early astronomers we learned. Solar and Lunar eclipses were events that challenged thinking and became some of the earliest scientific discoveries.

This type of advancement hasn’t stopped. Even this year the application of the newest technology is present. Just one example that will turn your head is the shadow simulation that we saw in January. The moon isn’t a perfect sphere, and the combination of its landscape and that of the Earth means the outer fringes of totality will not be straight lines, but an undulating path. It’s a small detail realized in a profound way by a citizen scientist so that we may all enjoy it. Isn’t being alive now absolutely stunning?

Boil it Down for Me

So no, watching a rock cast a shadow won’t blow your mind. But understanding that the movement of this shadow isn’t random, that we didn’t always understand it, and that there are huge forces at work here will humble your modern brain and leave you awestruck. It’s a rare chance to observe with your own senses the evidence of huge masses governed by gigantic gravitational forces at incomprehensible distances through the simple act of a shadow racing across the landscape.

Be there, and make it a celebration of science, humanity, and your own life experience. Share your eclipse meetup now!

46 thoughts on “Hackaday Eclipse Meetups

  1. I’m headed to central Missouri for my eclipse viewing. Hosting with a guy named Jordan who I met in the comments of Dan Maloney’s eclipse post back in January. Looking forward to meeting him and others in a few weeks!

  2. I had wanted to host something in the northern UT/ southern ID area but won’t be able to get away from work sufficiently long enough to do anything formal. I will be standing in the parking lot that morning though, getting as much of the partial as is possible to see from Lehi.

  3. “If you don’t get what all the hubbub is, you’re missing out. A total eclipse of the sun is an amazing life experience in so many ways. First off, they’re incredibly rare. There hasn’t been a total eclipse visible in the continental United States since 1979. The majority of the North American readership hasn’t even had the chance to see one in their lifetimes”

    Probably didn’t make much of it back then. Seen partial though. Usually weather is the biggest enemy if one’s in the right area.

  4. Boulder’s Solid State Depot Makerspace is working on a high-altitude balloon for launch in Wyoming during the eclipse. We hope to fly several cameras, sensors and radios including a locating beacon, APRS reporting of location and a LoRa-based SSDV feed.

  5. I was in N.J. for the one in 1970 and it was near total as the path ran right down the coast. Now, I am in Bowling Green, KY right in the path of this one so it should be 100% total. I will be at work when it happens but I will make sure to be outside looking up.

  6. Just the word Eclipse in a HaD post gives me Eclipse IDE Nightmare flashbacks and sends me into a loop of checking Environment Var corruption! I hate Eclipse – not the Solar-kind.

    1. My family and I are driving from Orlando to Western SC. When we drive North we usually stay in Santee which is why I noticed that it’s in the direct path of the eclipse. It’s a pretty area (at least the huge bridge/river area)

      1. Great, are you going to Santee for the event? Where in Orlando are you? We are near the 417 and Curryford South East Orlando (Cypress Springs development).

        BTW I love your name messmaker because when I am in the maker mode I am a mess maker.

  7. I was in Devon for the 2001(?) Total eclipse. Was cloudy for the morning, two hours later the clouds parted.Too late!
    Others reported that birds tried to roost in trees, (did others report flowers closing, or did I imagine that?).

    Most amusing though, was seeing hundreds of flashguns miles away on the opposite side of the valley. 93 million miles, and the inverse square law came to mind…

  8. So, since the sun is 93 million miles away, and the speed of light is 186,000 miles/sec. and it takes about 9 minutes for the light of the sun to reach earth, does that mean that when we see the eclipse it has already happened 9 minutes earlier? Isn’t that a bit like time travel? Hmmm.

    1. More like 8 min, 19 sec if I remember correctly a calculation from years ago; but to your point: it depends, of course, on whether you’re concerned with the light FROM the sun, or the light which is blocked out by the moon.
      No matter which; yes–time travel, but going forward is not allowed. Maybe when we learn how to reverse entropy…

          1. I still got a good laugh out of it…

            If I had the opportunity, I would buy a telescope and cameras to record the event. Not going to get the chance this time though.

  9. I just encountered this newspaper article in the Hilton Head Island Packet, and thought I’d pass it along for all you eclipsers:

    http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/community/article163092028.html

    **********************************************************************************
    “NASA says your eclipse glasses may be unsafe. Here’s how to tell if they’re not”
    **********************************************************************************
    Have fun. Be safe.

  10. Me and a buddy are planning to drive out and find some random hole in the wall pocket sized town near the center of the path, just west of St Joseph (but still no where near St Joseph, cause St, Joseph is “way too close to Kansas City”, which my pal hates with a passion, having driven through it too many times on normal days, much less eclipse day). We plan on not even bothering to be IN town… Just out on some random country road, with lawn chairs and a cooler.

    I kid you not, he found what looks like a run down farm lot, with no traces of vehicle activity… on Google Maps… How he ever found it, I don’t know, but he’s holding that as a backup for viewing, if the lot indeed appears to be unlived. Crazy dude…

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