I love to be outdoors during solar eclipses, enjoying the universe appearing to darken around me while my research observations get under way. Long ago I used to suggest that people make a pinhole projector or even use cheese graters from their kitchens to watch these events. But in recent years the availability of partial-eclipse filters for only a dollar or so has made such advice obsolete. Now anyone can glance up at the sun through such a filter starting more than an hour prior to totality and see an apparent bite being taken out of the solar disk. During the last few minutes before totality, you will notice that the ambient light changes in quality, becoming eerie. Shadows sharpen because they result from a thin crescent of sunlight rather than the full disk of the sun. The air cools, and a wind stirs. Shadow bands may sweep rapidly over the ground.