Opinion

Lights out

This Saturday, April 8th, at 3:32 in the afternoon, it will be precisely seven years before Aroostook County receives a remarkable celestial gift. A total solar eclipse is going to occur at 3:32, last for about 2 minutes and 50 seconds on April 8, 2024.

This time is for Presque Isle. Go to this site, (http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Eclipse2024.php) to find the times for your location.

The northern edge of the path of totality will be around Hamlin, while the southern line will cut through Washington County. It is easy to find an image of the path of the eclipse just by googling “US Total Solar Eclipse 2024” That will get you a list, and the second one down is a NASA link that shows the path very nicely. Hopefully is will be sunny, but even if it is cloudy, it will still be astonishing to experience, as it will become dead-on dead of night for almost three minutes! Please note, there is also a total solar eclipse this year on August 21st. It is being dubbed, “The Great American Eclipse.” The swath of totality will be oriented northwest to southeast, exiting the East Coast off of South Carolina. Again the path can be found with ease online.

While online, make sure to google on “how to safely view a solar eclipse.” It is critically important. Irreversible eye damage can be done when viewing a solar eclipse incorrectly.

By the way, while in a solar eclipse the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, in a lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light, which otherwise would reflect off the moon.

Utterly unrelated but totally noteworthy, Caribou is in the midst of smashing the previous record for most consecutive days with at least 12 inches of snow on the ground. The previous record was 120 straight days in the winter of 1968-69. Caribou reached 121 days last Thursday, and stands at 127 days today, April 5th.

The official daily climate report, which includes daily snow depth, can be found by googling on “NWS CAR CLI”. Everything is all set except for one thing, in column 2, click “Caribou”, then go ahead and click the gold “Go” button.

Now you’ll be able to keep tabs on the streak.

Ted Shapiro holds the Broadcast Seal of Approval from both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. An Alexandria, Va. native, he has been chief meteorologist at WAGM-TV since 2006. Email him at tshapiro@wagmtv.com.

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