Look, up in the sky: The Great Eclipse Across America 2017

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Save the date

Monday, 21 august 2017, mark your calendars. The continental US and other nearby areas will be treated to an amazing celestial event – an eclipse of the sun – and for the lucky ones, a total eclipse.

American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson notes, “A total eclipse of the sun belongs on everyone’s bucket list.

Those within or traveling to the path of totality – defined as places where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s atmosphere – will see one of nature’s most rare and spectacular sights: A total solar eclipse. The path of totality will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.

This is an important US historical event. It’s the first time in nearly a century that a total solar eclipse has gone across the US from coast to coast. Also of note, it’s the first time that a total solar eclipse will occur exclusively on US soil. The Great Eclipse will not be visible from other countries.

If you’re planning on traveling to see the total eclipse, here are some of the larger cities where it will occur, along with their mid-eclipse point times:

  • 10:17 am | Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon, Oregon
  • 11:34 am | Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • 11:44 am | Casper, Wyoming
  • 1:00  pm | Grand Island/Lincoln Nebraska
  • 1:08 pm  | St Joseph, Missouri
  • 1:09 pm | Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1:14 pm | Columbia, Jefferson City, Missouri
  • 1:18 pm | St Louis, Missouri
  • 1:28 pm | Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • 1:28 pm | Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2:39 pm | Greenville, South Carolina
  • 2:43 pm | Columbia, South Carolina

Those viewing this event outside the path will see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun. NASA has created Eclipse Across America as a guide to this unique event and it’s packed with history, education, activities, and most importantly, safety tips for viewing the eclipse (it’s best to have CE-Approved and ISO-Certified eclipse safety glasses for mandatory eye protection).

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Check out this interactive map to find the best viewing times for your location. For a more immersive experience, enter the NASA Eyes app and explore the eclipse from multiple perspectives and time frames from your location.

What to Expect

“It’s an assault on the senses,” Rick Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society told Space.com. “But a good assault.”

(Pending your time zone and location as it relates to the path of totality)

  • Variable drops in air temperature, up to 10 or more degrees
  • Degrees of darkness
  • Sharper shadows
  • Possibility of shadow bands where alternating streaks of light and dark appear on the ground
  • Some changes in animal behavior – birds may stop singing and cows may head back to the barn due to the signal change of light
  • Skywatchers could see stars in the daytime, or possibly glimpse the planet Mercury
  • Total solar watches will see the appearance of the sun’s atmosphere

Eclipse Events and Resources

In NYC

Across the US

If you miss this total eclipse, the next will occur on 8 april 2024 and that will be visible from Texas to Maine putting different states in the path of totality for that occurrence.

Have your bucket check list at the ready.

Will you be watching?

Illustrations: © 2017 Janet Giampietro. Source material from Freepick Cityscapes and Forest Banners.

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