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2017 solar eclipse was one of most-watched events in American history, survey says

Ella Dahlstrom,8, of Hartford, Vt., and Becca Girrell, of Lebanon, N.H. view the solar eclispe at the Montshire Museum of Science, in Norwich, Vt., on Aug. 21, 2017. About 1,300 people came to the museum to see the eclispe. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Were you one of the estimated 216 million American adults who watched the solar eclipse last August?

If so, you were in good company.

The Washington Post reports:

According to a new survey from the University of Michigan, a stunning 88 percent of American adults — some 216 million people — watched the “Great American Eclipse” in person or electronically. This estimated audience, based on a national probability sample of 2,915 people over 18, was greater than that for the 1969 Apollo 11 landing and each Super Bowl since the contest began. (A 1999 poll found that 7 out of 10 Americans who were age five or older on the day of the moon landing recalled watching the event on television. The most-watched Super Bowl, in 2015, had about 114 million viewers.)

Here’s a video about eclipse-watchers in Quechee that I put together with Valley News intern Charles Hatcher last year.

Time capsules! The scene at the opening last night in Royalton

The contents of two time capsules that had just been opened on the Royalton Green, in South Royalton, Vt., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (Valley News – August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

It took place on one of Royalton’s two gazebos.

(RELATED: Does Royalton have the highest gazebo-per-capita rating in the country or what?)

Click here for a full story, in words and photos, by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling and August Frank.

We also have some of August’s photo outtakes up on our Instagram:

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There’s gonna be a meteor shower this weekend, and here’s how you can watch

The Perseid (that’s “Purse-y-id,” according to NASA) meteor showers are set to peak this weekend, offering ample opportunities for viewing, according to Time Magazine. Here, a quick guide.

WHEN TO WATCH

Time reports the best times to see the meteor showers are Saturday and Sunday nights, when you should be able to see 60-70 meteors per hour.

Some meteors will appear lower in the sky as soon as it’s fully dark out—around 9:30 p.m. local time. But the best time to watch the shower is in the pre-dawn hours of 3-5 a.m. when the moon has set and Perseus is high in the sky.

HOW TO WATCH

If you want to take see the meteor show, you should aim to head somewhere super dark and free of light pollution or large buildings, according to the article. “No special equipment is needed, just patience,” Time reported.

Of course, if you prefer to view from the comfort of your own home or already have plans and might miss the show, you can catch the live stream here on Youtube.

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH THE METEOR SHOWERS

This is where it gets a little tricky, and where some equipment might be necessary. (You probably won’t capture this lights show on your iPhone.) From the article:

Anyone using a real camera should consider setting it up on a tripod in order to avoid the blurry shots that can result from shaky hands. For best results, aim your camera toward Perseus, manually focus a wide-angle lens, use a remote shutter release or self-timer, and employ NASA’s 500 rule to calculate the optimal exposure time.

If anyone does snap pics of the shower, send ’em our way!

FILE – In this Thursday night, Dec. 13, 2012, file photo, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Geminid meteor shower over Springville, Ala. The Geminids meteor shower hits its peak on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, but a full moon will outshine the celestial show this year. (Mark Almond/AL.com via AP, File)