Eclipses feature prominently in ancient cultures from around the world. They appear in early works of art, literature, and mythology. The most awe-inspiring is the total solar eclipse, when the sun and moon line up from the perspective of Earth, and the moon blots out the sun in a radiant halo. In fact, total solar eclipses are so awe-inspiring that they have developed their own traveling fan base: eclipse chasers.
Eclipse chasers are those who travel to places where a total solar eclipse will be visible. They seek out places where they can experience the totality, and many try to see as many as they can in their lifetime. They are willing to make the trek just to experience something that lasts just a matter of minutes. Consider the fact that some people plan their travels around hobby conventions. Eclipse chasers similarly plan their trips to coincide with a gathering, only theirs is a gathering of nature.
Although eclipse chasers and other spectators can only view part of the eclipse safely without a lens or some other eye protection, a major part of the experience is witnessing the changes taking place on the ground around them. Day temporarily becomes night, with flowers closing their buds and a stillness falling over everything as the moon’s shadow grows. As the heavenly bodies align for a brief moment, the result is spectacular, memorable, and for the true diehards, addictive.