Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017!
A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. The event has been described as the "Great American Eclipse" as it will be visible in totality only within a band across the entire contiguous United States. The previous time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometers wide.
This eclipse is the 22nd of the 77 members of Saros series 145, which also produced the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999. Members of this series are increasing in duration. The longest eclipse in this series will occur on June 25, 2522 and last for 7 minutes and 12 seconds.
Times (UTC) Partial begin15:46:48
Total begin16:48:32 Greatest eclipse18:26:40
Total end20:01:35 Partial end21:04:19
Not just like, those kinda lame lunar eclipses where nothing really happens, but like a “TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN!!!”
Like many others, I have never seen such a celestial phenomenon in my lifetime – I’ve only seen it in films – so I’M JUST A LITTLE BIT EXCITED.
In general, a solar eclipse is what happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking view of the sun for up to about three hours. The oldest written record of any solar eclipse on earth is about 5,000 years old, and the last time a continental U.S. saw a total solar eclipse was in 1979, almost four decades ago.
What makes this solar eclipse special, is that it will span across 14 U.S. states, where many will have the chance to see and the sun’s corona-- the millions of kilometres of plasma that surround it and other stars--with their own two eyes.
This, eclipse which will last anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes, puts those in the 70-mile-wide path of select cities from Oregon to South Carolina, in the middle of a momentary TOTAL solar eclipse as the moon completely blocks the sun, literally turning day into night.
For those not directly in the path of the total eclipse, also known as the “path of totality,” your view of the moon covering the sun will be partial--so a partial eclipse, which could look like any of these:
During a solar eclipse, the moon casts two shadows on Earth. The first shadow is the dark center of the moon’s shadow, called the umbra, which decreases in size the closer it gets to the earth. The second shadow, the penumbra, gets LARGER as it reaches the planet, so people standing in the cast of the penumbra will see a partial eclipse, and those in the cast of the umbra will see a total eclipse.
There are 3 types of possible solar eclipses, two of which are expected during the one this August. The ones we’ve mentioned: total and partial, and the third being the exact opposite of what we’re expecting, an annular solar eclipse, happens when the moon is farthest from Earth and DOESN’T block the entire view of the sun.
So two out of the three are happening – and “two out of three ain’t bad," amiright?
That said – if you want to look directly at it – you shouldn’t do it with your naked eye, because the sun’s rays could damage your eyes. But don’t worry, you don’t need high-tech gadgets… the easiest way to look at a partially or fully eclipsed sun directly is with cheap-ish items like “eclipse glasses”...