For the first time in nearly 100 years, America gets to sit front and center for a full solar eclipse. This celestial event will span the entirety of the United States, which rarely happens. So get excited!
National Geographic says the eclipse will happen on August 21st, but they didn’t provide an exact time. I’m sure as we get closer to the event, we’ll know exactly when we can run outside to watch.
Also, we’re in for a real treat. Those along the eclipse’s direct path will get to see the ultra-rare “ring of fire.” It means that the moon will be far enough away from the Earth so it won’t completely cover the sun.
So, this means that August 21st will be totally insane. Especially for space lovers.
The full event will only happen on a narrow strip between South Carolina and Oregon, though. Well, a 75 mile radius along a narrow strip, I should say. But, on the bright side, you have a choice of 12 major cities to choose to watch it from.
Hey, and you have two months to make plans to book your accommodations. So, you have plenty of time to make arrangements if you absolutely must see the whole thing!
But, if you’re content with staying in Connecticut for this, make sure you grab a telescope and your special sunglasses. We will still be able to watch the eclipse, but it’ll be a partial one. So, it’ll look like someone took a bite out of the sun instead. Which is still pretty cool.
However, you should know that it’s not an all-day event. In fact, the complete full solar eclipse will take about 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Either way, it’ll be super exciting because this sort of eclipse is ultra-rare to begin with. It’s because it will be visible to a large chunk of land rather than a remote location. Like over the ocean.
For example, back in 2016, one happened over Indonesia, but only if you ventured out into the Pacific Ocean. Or, take for example the eclipse of 1979. Only the Pacific Northwest got to see that one.
But, you get to see this one from coast to coast. Lucky us!
The last time that happened was back in June 1918, where the span reached from Washington to Florida. So, you can easily say this event is extremely special.
National Geographic handily created a video that shows us the eclipse’s direct path across the US.
Just remember, if you plan on looking up at the sky that day, make sure you protect yourself. Looking directly at the sun can cause major eye damage and can even burn your retinas! Yikes!
Only those who are along the direct path of the solar eclipse can safely see it with the naked eye once the moon eclipses the sun. But only during that time, though.
And if you happen to miss it, you’ll have to wait until 2024 to see another one on American soil.
But, you can see the next full solar eclipse in July 2019, when it crosses Chile and Argentina.
Fingers crossed we won’t have to deal with cloudy skies that day. If we do, chances are you can catch a stream from somewhere in the US that has better weather conditions.