Tag Archives: solar eclipse

Two years from today a total eclipse will cross the U.S.

Start making your plans! The Great American solar eclipse will take place two years from today.

Aug. 21, 2017, will mark the first time this century, and the first time since 1979, that a total solar eclipse will cross the contiguous (lower 48) United States (Alaska had its turn in 1990; Hawaii in 1991). And for the very first time, the shadow track — better known as the “path of totality” — will sweep only over the United States and no other country, leading some people to refer to this upcoming event as “The Great American Eclipse.”

Many Americans taking full advantage of this event’s close proximity to their homes will have a golden opportunity to witness firsthand one of the most beautiful and most exciting of nature’s sky events. The total eclipse will be seen by an estimated 12 million people who fortuitously live within the totality path.  However, the number of people who are within just one day’s drive of the totality zone is probably around 200 million.


The first solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in two decades will occur on May 20.

Set your calendar: The first solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in two decades will occur on May 20.

An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and sun, but the lunar disk does not completely block out the sun and instead leaves a “ring of fire” visible around the moon at the point of maximum eclipse. Most anyone west of the Mississippi will see a partial eclipse, but the real treat will be for those located in the 200-mile wide path of the eclipse which will trek east from the California / Oregon border through Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and finally set below the horizon in west Texas.

Remember, you will need good eye protection if you choose to look.


The American Eclipse of 2017

2017 Eclipse map

Time to start making your vacation plans. On August 21, 2017 a total eclipse of the sun is going to traverse the entire length of the continental United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. Kentucky will have the longest view, with totality as long as three minutes.

And astronomers are already thinking of ways to harness the help of the American people in observing this event. In a paper published today on the Los Alamos astro-ph website, a team of astronomers are proposing organizing something they have dubbed the U.S. Eclipse MegaMovie, whereby they gather together as many images of the totality as possible and assemble them into a single film, showing the evolution of the sun’s corona as it crosses the continent.
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