Total Solar Eclipse Experience

Noemi Pinilla-Alonso – Research Scientist

Location: Mackay, ID

Coordinates: 43° 54’ 25.79” N, 113° 36’ 29.39” W

Start time of totality: 11:30 AM (MDT)

Duration of totality: 2min 13s


“I went with my family and friends to Mackay, Cluster County, Idaho, one of the official NASA viewing locations. It is a town in the mountains with around 500 inhabitants. There, we met some collaborators that came as part of an expedition, Shelios 2017, all the way from Spain to observe the eclipse and run some experiments.

The ambiance was exciting: families, colleagues, scientists, locals – all with our glasses sharing our expectations. When the moment came, the weather was impeccable and we all enjoyed almost two and a half minutes of an overwhelming spectacle. I loved the dynamic image of the Sun’s corona and some red, flame-like prominences encircling the solar limb and also the feeling of having two minutes of dusk at noon.”



N. Pinilla-Alonso (FSI) and colleague V. Lorenzi (TNG) observing the eclipse during partiality


People waiting for the eclipse


Screens in Main Street showing Eclipse Apparel


View of Mackay and the mountains during totality


Image of the totality taken without telescope (courtesy of J. Acuña-Domínguez)