The Great American Solar Eclipse
What is it, and Get What you Need to View It!
We are on the verge of one of the most exciting astronomical events in years, an event that hasn’t happened in 99 years, an American Solar Eclipse. What does that mean? It means that it will be viewable in its totality for only the contiguous United States and only viewed as a partial eclipse for other countries.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s diameter appears larger than the sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness, causing the temperature to drop rapidly, and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky, around the silhouette of the moon. This August 21st, people across the United States will see the sun disappear behind the moon. Not since the February, 1979, eclipse has a total eclipse been visible from the mainland United States.
Be Prepared For Solar Eclipse Watching:
Celestron EclipSmart ISO Certified, 2017 North American Total Solar Eclipse Refracting Telescope, White
Where to view the Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
The eclipse path cuts right through the middle of several very large cities. If you’re in St. Louis or Kansas City, you need to be in a certain part of town to see totality. Nashville is partially in totality. Portland OR misses it, as does Atlanta and Chattanooga. Bowling Green is barely in the path. Greenville SC is, but Spartanburg isn’t! And Charlotte misses as well. Omaha is not in the path, but Lincoln is – just barely. And the great national Parks of Yellowstone/Grand Teton, and the Great Smoky Mountains are cut in half by the path. But Craters of the Moon misses the show! The Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky will be perfect, weather permitting!
The longest duration of the eclipse will be 2 minutes, 40.2 seconds, viewable just south of Carbondale, Illinois. A partial solar eclipse will be seen from the much broader path of the moon’s penumbra, including all of North America, the northern part of South America, Western Europe, and some of Africa.
Total Solar Eclipse History for the US
The last time this exact event occurred was June 8th, 1918. It has been since February 1979 since a total solar eclipse has been visible from the United States.
A live stream of the event can be seen in person at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, California. If you want to see it in person, then you need to be in the right spot! Check out the map to make sure you’re there!
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Also published on Medium.