On Monday, April 8, 2024, there will be a total eclipse of the Sun, visible over a large swatch of the US and people are pretty excited about it.
The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean. Weather permitting, the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT.
The path of the eclipse continues from Mexico, entering the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The eclipse will enter Canada in Southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. The eclipse will exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. NDT.
The link provides exact times when the eclipse will occur at various places along its path. It will pass right over Cleveland where I used to live. Because I am a scientist, many people expect me to be excited too but to be quite honest, I am not. I will not be going anywhere to seek out good viewing locations for this relatively rare event.
My same disinterest applies to other events such as the Perseid meteor showers that take place every August.
The annual Perseid meteor shower has lit up skies across the world to the delight of those hoping to catch a glimpse of a shooting star.
The phenomenon brings up to 100 meteors an hour, as the Earth slams into the debris left behind from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.
As the debris hits the Earth’s atmosphere it burns up, resulting in the bright flashes known as shooting stars, which can be seen with the naked eye.
The natural display happens at a similar time in July and August each year, and this year peaked between Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.
Nor do I get excited when there is a conjunction of planets visible to the naked eye or other astronomical phenomena.
I think my disinterest arises from the fact that these events are highly predictable and so do not excite me. Now if they failed to occur as expected …
It is a little embarrassing because people think that I will be excited because they are excited. So I pretend to be so, so as to not dampen their enthusiasm. But I am not going to knock myself out to see them.