Saturday, July 8, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the U.S. will be treated to a total eclipse of the sun. The eclipse will be visible -- weather permitting -- across all of North America. The entire continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting two to three hours. Anyone within a 70-milewide path that stretches through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse. During those brief moments -- when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for about two minutes -- day will turn into night, making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. Birds will fly to their nighttime roosts. Nocturnal insects such as cicadas and crickets will buzz and chirp. This is truly one of nature’s most wondrous experiences.

The only safe way to look directly at an uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection (e.g. cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. Do not look at your hands, but at the shadow of your hands on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse).

• The last total eclipse in the United States occurred on February 26, 1979. The last total eclipse that crossed the entire continent occurred on June 8, 1918.The last time a total solar eclipse occurred exclusively in the U.S. was in 1778.

• Experiencing a total solar eclipse where you live happens on average about once in 375 years.

• 12.2 million Americans live in the path of the total eclipse. Of course, with visitors, that number will be much higher on August 21!

• About 200 million people (a little less than 2⁄3 the nation's population) live within one day's drive of the path of this total eclipse. In addition, millions of Americans will be able to view a partial eclipse, weather permitting.

• Carbondale, Illinois will experience the longest eclipse duration, clocking in at two minutes, 43 seconds, beginning at 1:20 p.m. CDT.

Eclipse Seeker glasses can be purchased via

1 comment:

  1. Carbondale is also in the path of a total solar eclipse in 2024. The last time what is now the St. Louis area was in the path of totality was 1442! And the next one will be in 2505. So this is indeed a rare treat. Don't miss it!