Friday, June 23, 2017

THERE GOES THE SUN: SOLAR ECLIPSE 2017




It may be a little early to note it here, but a celestial event of major importance is coming up August 21. It may take some planning to take full advantage. Yes, folks, a total solar eclipse will be visible to viewers in a wide swath of the United States on that date for the first time in 38 years. If you live in the area of the full eclipse (“totality”), you’re in luck. If not, and you haven’t made plans to get a hotel room, campsite or bunk in a friend’s home in the target area for the big event, you may be out of luck! 

Not sure if you’re in or out? The map below shows the path of totality.



If you’re located inside the path, the shadow of the moon will completely block the sun. Outside of the path, you’ll only see a partial eclipse, decreasing in coverage the further you are from the path. A nifty Eclipse Megamovie Simulator can help you figure out just how much eclipse you’ll see where you are. Enter your zip code in the simulator, slide the sun across the sky and watch it “disappear” behind the moon’s shadow to just the right degree.

As Americans are wont to do, we’ve gone a little bonkers in advance of the sunny shenanigans. There are planned eclipse-watching cruises, public and private parties, and themed events at national parks in the pathway, such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park (sold out within minutes, of course). All this for a heavenly happening that will last no more than two minutes and forty seconds in the darkest part of the solar arc. (Oh, and by the way, except for the people of  Iceland and Scotland, who will see the full eclipse, the rest of the world will only get a peek at this particular event. The sunset will coincide with the eclipse in the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal.)

Still, I’m thinking hubby and I could take a little drive down to Greenville, South Carolina to make our observations. The little city is only about ninety minutes away, but the eclipse will be total there. I’m sure we’ll be able to find an outdoor cafĂ© at which to enjoy the sight. After all, a chance like this doesn’t come along but once every 38 years or so.

Cheers, Donna

*Information for this post provided by "Total Solar Eclipse 2017: How to Make Sure You Don't Miss It," by Sebastian Modak, Conde Nast Traveler Online, June 21, 2017.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent! We are close to the zone as well, and I have inlaws down in Oregon.

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  2. That simulator is very cool!

    We're pretty far south of the totality path, in more of the "big bite" area. Though I don't think we'll be making any special trips, it will be fun to watch even the "partiality" from here.

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  3. I am about 20 miles from the path of totality. So close it will be a near total eclipse. I have my eclipse glasses ready! Remember, you can look safely at the sun ONLY during the very short total eclipse timeframe if you are in the path of totality. There, I've done my bit for safety!

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