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If you’re going to be in the states next month, we’ve got news for you! A total solar eclipse is going to pass across the United States on Monday, August 21st, 2017. Deemed the “Great American Total Solar Eclipse” it will sweep from the Pacific to the Atlantic, with the best views visible in 10 different states from Oregon to South Carolina.
Lasting for around 2 minutes, the skies will completely darken and the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, will be in sight— in such a case “skywatchers report seeing great jets and ribbons of light, twisting and curling out into the sky.” This is due to the sun’s magnetic fields and eruptions occurring at its outer edge. You’ll be able to note the sun’s magenta color of flames and gas behind the silhouette of the moon.
Solar eclipses aren’t just for skywatchers and moon-chasers, everyone can enjoy the breathtaking celestial event that is very rare. The last time a total eclipse occurred was in 1979! If you won’t be in the USA for the total eclipse, you can still catch a partial view. GOOD NEWS FOR US HERE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC is that we’ll be able to witness about 75% of the eclipse, as illustrated in the image below.
- Madras, Oregon
- Snake River Valley, Idaho
- Casper, Wyoming
- Sandhills of western Nebraska
- St. Joseph, Missouri
- Carbondale, Illinois
- Hopkinsville, Kentucky
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
- Columbia, South Carolina
How to safely watch:
- Make sure to wear protective eyewear! Did you know “eclipse-glasses” are hundreds of thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses?! — Check out these solar shades
- You can make a pinhole camera at home — See how here
- NASA says it’s OK to watch with the naked eye ONLY when the sun is fully eclipsed
Fun Facts we learned while researching this article:
- For the first time in 38 years, the USA will see a total solar eclipse
- The sun’s atmosphere is 1 million degrees hotter than its surface!
- The word Chromosphere comes from “chromo”- or color – for its crimson appearance around the sun
- NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recently found evidence of frost on the surface of the moon
- Eclipses cause the earth’s temperature to drop and plants and animals react as if it is dusk
- When the partial eclipse becomes total, the solar radiation will decrease more than 3 times faster than during a normal sunset
- Eclipses help scientists study how solar energy is absorbed and reflected in Earth’s atmosphere, known as Earth’s Radiation Budget
- Bright spots of light called Baily’s Beads can be seen in low valleys of the moon as the sun approaches darkness
- The last visible sunlight before the total solar eclipse is called the Diamond Ring
* Information obtained from: www.eclipse2017.nasa.gov; www.greatamericaneclipse.com; www.space.com.