On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will stretch across the continental United States for the first time in decades. It is an event that you won’t want to miss.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and Earth. The sky will darken, temperatures will drop, and vast numbers of bright stars will emerge in the sky that normally cannot be viewed in broad daylight.
Here is an image of a total solar eclipse for those of you who are interested in seeing what it looks like:
Once again, keep in mind that this picture takes place in the middle of the day!
ABC News reports that the August 21st solar eclipse is especially thrilling. Why? Because this is the first total solar eclipse with a path of totality that exclusively crosses the continental United States from coast to coast since June of 1918. This is also the first continental-wide total eclipse to only be viewed from the United States since the year we declared independence in 1776.
So who can see it? According to ABC News, more than 300 million people in the United States will have the possibility of enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime event. If you are living in the state of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina then your state will pass through the relatively thin path of totality sweeping through the United States.
You will have to be in the path of totality, which is about 70 miles wide, in order to experience the full impact of this event. Here is NASA's image, shared by ABC, showing the line of totality.
However, there is still good news for those not living in these states: a partial solar eclipse will be visible in every single U.S. State. For those of you who aren’t in the path of totality, here is the image describing the extent to which you will be able to see the eclipse. Where are you located?
Different states will be able to view the eclipse at different times. So do some research to learn when you specifically will be able to view it.
When August 21st finally arrives, be careful when viewing the eclipse. Looking directly at the sun with your naked eye except during the brief total phase of the eclipse – when the moon is covering up the sun – will hurt your eyes. You will need a pair of eclipse glasses, which are made specifically for viewing the eclipse.
Before you view the eclipse on August 21st, check out some of our related articles. For instance, learn how to save money on grocery shopping here. Also, if you know somebody who lives in the path of totality, share this article with them. You don't want a friend or family member to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime event!