On August 21, 2017 at 11:33 am, I witnessed 92% of the sun being blocked out by the moon. This was the first time that I had witnessed such a thing in recent memory (Annular eclipse in 1992). Temperatures dropped around 10° F, the sensor outdoor lights illuminated, birds stopped to chirp, shadows became more crisp, and a colander's circle shadows became crescents. It was a surreal couple of minutes.
Solar Energy is only powering 1% of the total United States power supply, but in certain states the dependency has increased. California, Minnesota, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, and other states are shifting energy dependency to solar. During this eclipse, there were solar power shortages that were subsidized by hydroelectric and natural gas, making sure that all citizens were able to have power. California lost approximately 6 gigawatts of power in the 90 minutes that the sun was obscured. No sharp spikes in valleys or peaks of energy usage were apparent because the electric companies have been planning for this event for over a year and a half. Life went on as usual. The strangest thing was that with all of our technology and all of our knowledge, we are still influenced on that big beautiful star.
The energy that the sun gave off during those few hours was amazing. People from all over, of all walks of life came together to witness this great event. The sun is truly a great resource. It offers heat, light, and energy to everyone and everything. Maybe that is the true power of the sun that we should be looking at.
- Patrick Hvolka
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