I’m not too far off the path of the total eclipse of the Sun in 10 days, living in Utah. I debated taking the day off and driving up to Idaho, or at least buying a pair of protective glass covers for the event as we still get around 80% eclipse right here. The challenge I’m having is ‘what’s the big deal’? If I had nothing to do, for example the wealthy friend of Carly Simon in “You’re so Vain” singing, “Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun.”
On the down side, it is unlikely that I’ll live long enough to see another total eclipse of the Sun so maybe I’ll really miss it if I don’t make the field trip.
There is evidence that the Chinese and the Babylonians had figured out the schedule for these events. They were considered omens for rulers, and indeed there are a couple of notable deaths that were later associated with solar eclipses. Mohammad’s son, Ibrahim died during such an event, and Henry I of England died shortly after an eclipse, leading to the believe by many that the solar eclipse was a very bad omen for Kings and Rulers. It is further identified with stopping at least one war: Herodotus reported that a a solar eclipse in 585 BC convinced the Lydians and the Medes to end their war.
Maybe North Korea and the U.S. will come to a peaceable solution to their current hostilities.