The total eclipse of the sun will be visible in the U.S. on August 21, 2017. This will be the first time in almost four decades.
I hope Americans are ready for a heavenly show! From Oregon all the way to South Carolina (spanning Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, and parts of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina), along a 70-mile-wide stretch, the skies will completely darken by the total eclipse of the sun. Millions of U.S. citizens will experience this event. Although U.S. soil experienced the total eclipse in 1979, it hasn’t been available coast to coast like this in 99 years. Now that’s a long time to wait!
I’m sure most everyone knows how total eclipses happen, if not, here’s a rundown.
Most solar eclipses are partial. In this case, the moon only covers a small portion of the sun against the night sky. Every year, we get the chance to view 4 or 5 of these partial varieties. Unfortunately, since the earth is covered in water, the eclipse isn’t always seen by land either, which makes the total solar eclipse of 2017 that much more exciting to witness. It’s an intriguing experience and it makes us want to understand more.
This is how it works: The moon is approximately 239,000 miles from earth. This makes the moon appear to be about the same size as the sun. So, it’s obvious that when alignment is just right, the moon can completely block out the sun rays… and there you have it, a total eclipse of the sun. It is magical and yet simple to understand. Makes me contemplate intelligent design, it does.
So grab a seat and let the show begin!
So, I guess you should make your reservations to see this cosmic event, huh?
It will definitely be something to remember. Now there are around 12 million people living in this band of visibility. But there are around 220 million people who live within a day’s drive. So you can imagine the possible turn out for the total eclipse of the sun.
Astronomer at Massachusetts’ Williams College, Jay Pasachoff, who is also an eclipse expert, said,
“This is a chance to see the universe changing around you.”
And Pasachoff plans to be there too. In fact, he has witnessed 63 solar eclipses, some for fun and others for research. Pasachoff finds the eclipse to be the perfect time to study the sun’s corona (the outer wispy atmosphere.)
What time can we expect this celestial event?
The total eclipse of the sun will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end by 4 p.m. EST. And you better be ready because the eclipse will only last about an hour in total – that’s 2 minutes on each given spot, respectively.
Remember to take precautions. Make sure that, whether you are in the viewing area of totality or not, you do not look directly into the sun without protective eyewear.
If you can’t be there, make sure to stay tuned to NASA’s live streaming on Slooh.com. Social media will also be on fire with reports images and reactions to this beautiful sky show.
An astronomer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science said,
“This will be the most photographed, the most shared, the most tweeted event in human history.”
The next time a total solar eclipse will be observable across the entire Lower will be in 2045, making this event a rare occasion indeed.
You don’t want to miss it!