In less than two weeks, a solar eclipse is scheduled to hit the mainland of the United States for the first time in almost four decades. But you might be wondering what exactly is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is a period in which the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. This wandering moon partially or fully blocks out the sun as a result of its movement relative to the position of both the sun and the Earth. This phenomena only occurs during the period of a new moon, in which the sun and the moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth’s surface. This alignment is referred to as “syzygy,” which relates to a straight-line configuration involving at least three celestial bodies (sun, earth, moon).
The United States will experience a total eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017. The eclipse will cast a 70 miles shadow on the upper-northwest portion of Oregon at 10:00 A.M. local time. The dark shadow will travel past Idaho and Wyoming. At 2:45 P.M. (EST), the eclipse will move out through South Carolina.
The eclipse will move very quickly. It will reportedly only stay in the same spot for a few minutes in a particular spot. However, if you have access to a jet, you can actually race the miles-long shadow to its destination into the Atlantic. NASA will fly their jet right into the eclipse, and plan on recording seven minutes of footage.
Over 12 million people live in the eclipse’s path, so if you want to follow the shadow with your car, be my guest. An estimated seven million are predicted to travel all the way out to see the eclipse for themselves. They’ll be coming to see the first total eclipse to hit the U.S. since 1979.
The moon is literally a tiny speck when compared to the magnitude of the sun. It is a supreme astronomical coincidence that the sun and moon are in such perfect alignment that the tiny moon perfectly blocks out the sun.
Total Eclipse Map
Here’s a map showing the trajectory of the total eclipse. As you can see, the eclipse starts off in the northwest of Oregon and then slips to the south Atlantic.
Total Eclipse Glasses
Remember that if you’re gazing at the eclipse, you’re still technically staring towards the sun. Even a blocked-out sun can still do damage to your eyes. In light of this vision danger, you might want to pick up Total Eclipse Glasses…
Here’s some tips that will show you how to optimize your total eclipse experience with these specialty glasses. Just slap on those specs and enjoy the sights! Follow the directions and you will be able to enjoy the eclipse without having to worry about eye problems…