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Bill Kramer felt the tip of a machine gun against his back, forcefully guiding him to the back room of an Indonesian airport. It was 1983, 11 years after he saw his first solar eclipse as a boy, and his wife had come along to see her first one, too. A small telescope in his carry-on bag had alarmed customs officials, and he had no idea how to explain that he’d merely brought it to see the moon perfectly aligning with the sun, shrouding the Earth in a magical sort of darkness.

“I’m sweating bullets, and this guy comes in with this big uniform and says in a perfect American accent, ‘Wow, what a nice telescope,’” Kramer, a 58-year-old retired computer scientist now living in Jamaica, recalled in a Skype interview. “The relief I felt was pretty incredible.”

Kramer is an eclipse chaser, and the officials surveying his bag weren’t the first people Kramer encountered who didn’t quite understand his passion. Chasers often make careers of their voyages to see the sun’s glowing corona, or they’re vigorous planners who book remote trips into the path of totality years ahead of time. And those of us who are “eclipse virgins” — a popular term among the chasers — probably won’t understand the appeal until we see one ourselves, they say. To them, eclipse chasing is a core identity, a lifestyle or – at the very least — travel with a purpose.

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Solar Eclipse 2017: For these career eclipse chasers, Aug. 21 will truly be the event of a lifetime

 

A total solar eclipse on March 9, 2016, in Palembang, located in the South Sumatra province of Indonesia.
Source: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

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Click link below for article:

https://mic.com/articles/183289/solar-eclipse-2017-for-these-career-eclipse-chasers-aug-21-will-truly-be-the-event-of-a-lifetime#.mveQAL0be

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