Solar Eclipse 2017 From Sparta, TN

The August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse as photographed from Sparta, TN (35.9727° N, 85.5638° W).   This was about 3.2 miles from the center of Totality!  These images do not convey the magnitude of the experience.  Knowing what to expect in general does not prepare you.  If I tried to find a single word to describe it, I would pick astonishing.


Location Sparta, TN (35.9725° N, 85.5638° W)
Duration of Totality 2m38.8s
Magnitude 1.014
Obscuration 100.00%
Event Date Time (UT) Alt Azi
Start of partial eclipse (C1) 2017/08/21 17:01:17 63.9° 154.8°
Start of total eclipse (C2) 2017/08/21 18:29:50.1 63.9° 205.4°
Maximum eclipse 2017/08/21 18:31:09.6 63.8° 206.1°
End of total eclipse (C3) 2017/08/21 18:32:28.9 63.6° 206.8°
End of partial eclipse (C4) 2017/08/21 19:56:17.0 51.9° 239.1°

Posted by Chad Dotson

A small town Computer Scientist / Software Engineer. Chad enjoys writing Python and JavaScript as well as tinkering with his Raspberry Pi and Arduino. When not programming, he enjoys Photography (especially lightning) and Sci-Fi.


Mykell J Gossinger

Hello Chad,

These two photos are awesome. My wife Christine and I flew in from NJ to Charlotte and drove to Nashville.
We spent 3 days in Spring Hill, TN and decided not to see the eclipse in Nashville but to head to Sparta.We did not know what to expect but came upon Pearson Park in Sparta by accident. We watched 1st and 2nd contact, the corona and finally hit 3rd contact. It was our first eclipse and it was awe inspiring. I would love to see other photos you have. What a small town but and absolutely perfect place to see the 2m 38s.

Chad Dotson

Thanks! I had no idea they would turn out. These were taken about 7 miles away from that park to the West. All I have are variations of this sadly. I had originally not worried about photographing it, but once totality hit I decided to try so I focused the camera and set it to take shots as fast as it could and left it alone. A person that I know was just south of Sparta and witnessed the shadow snake phenomena, I’d completely forgot to look for them when totality approached. Living just outside totality made it a virtual requirement to drive a little North to see it. Down South, the clouds had been gathering that morning and it was looking grim, but instead it was a great, almost cloudless day up there. I hear Nashville wasn’t as fortunate, some people had totality partially obscured by clouds. I encountered no traffic problems on the way and found a nice little spot at the Lighthouse Church. I was originally headed for the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport but decided not to pass a good spot so close to center of totality.

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