Eclipse Across America

For the first time since 1979, the contiguous United States will be treated to a total solar eclipse. Even more exciting, the path of totality across the USA starts in Oregon and ends in South Carolina. The next total solar eclipse in the US is April 8, 2024 and the next one to cross the contiguous United States is August 12, 2045.

Total Solar Eclipse – August 21, 2017

Don’t miss this opportunity!

The last time a total eclipse was visible from coast to coast was June 8, 1918. The next total solar eclipse in the US is April 8, 2024 and the next one to cross the contiguous United States is August 12, 2045.

What is a total solar eclipse?

One of nature’s most beautiful spectacles is a total solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.  For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds.

The moon’s shadow will cut a 70-mile-wide path, across the country from Oregon to South Carolina. For over two minutes, those in the path will experience an ethereal twilight with a naked-eye view of the sun’s million-degree atmosphere called the corona. Anticipation and energy for this eclipse is off the charts! Over 500 million in North America alone will be able to catch the eclipse in either its partial or total phase. Parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see a partial eclipse as well. 

This visualization combines the views from several previous animations to create a continuous camera flight from the night side of the Earth to the day side, showing the relationship of the Earth, Moon, and Sun during the August 21, 2017 eclipse. It shows the direction of the Moon’s motion and the Earth’s rotation, the complete path of the umbra from the moment it touches down on the Earth until the moment it departs, and the true scale of the Earth-Moon system. CREDIT: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA using this unique celestial event as an education and public engagement opportunity by leveraging its extensive networks of partners, numerous social media platforms, broadcast media, and its significant unique space assets and experts to bring the eclipse to America and the world. The website eclipse2017.nasa.gov outlines NASA’s focus on safety, science, education, public engagement and citizen science. 

Watch the eclipse with NASA!

If you’re outside the path of totality (or even if you aren’t), you can join in the excitement with multiple live broadcasts & resources from NASA!

NASA TV – Eclipse Across America

C. Alex Young will be live from Charleston, SC!

Get ready to shout at your screen: “Hey, I know that guy!” The Sun Today’s Alex is getting ready for the main NASA broadcast to bring the experience & more science to you. Many subject matter experts & live feeds from across the path of totality will be part of the show. Stay tuned for details!

2017 Total Solar Eclipse – Live from Carbondale, IL

Live from Carbondale, IL, it’s NASA EDGE!

Linda from The Sun Today is working with the NASA Edge team to promote & take questions during the live broadcast! Connect to NASA Edge on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the eclipse and ask questions!

For four hours surrounding the eclipse, NASA will host an Eclipse Webcast – Live From Carbondale, IL providing unique broadcast coverage across multiple phenomenon programming, and allow NASA to interact with the scientists and member of the public across the country as they watch and study the eclipse.

The webcast will be picked up by NASA TV as well as many other local and national TV stations. In all, hundreds of millions, worldwide, will be able to experience and learn about the eclipse through NASA programming.

A live eclipse broadcast is exciting!

Just watch this clip from the 2016 eclipse in Micronesia! You’ll actually be able to see the magnificent “diamond ring” effect much better on video since there’s no danger of damaging your eyes! Every eclipse gives a unique view of the sun’s corona. Watch it online to experience this in real-time and be amazed along with millions of other sun gazers!

C. Alex Young at the Library of Congress!

C. Alex Young spoke about the science and wonder of total solar eclipses. He explained the celestial mechanics of the eclipse, viewing opportunities and how NASA will study the sun and Earth during this rare event on August 21, 2017. Speaker Biography: C. Alex Young is a solar physicist and associate director for science at the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He is responsible for overseeing and coordinating education and public outreach. (PS – This was definitely a career highlight! What an honor!!) CREDIT: Library of Congress

Who can see it in real life?

Lots of people! Everyone in the contiguous United States, in fact, everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse, while the thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states.  

CREDIT: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio – Figure 2- This map shows the globe view of the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. You can find more information at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4518

For those eagerly anticipating the eclipse, Google and scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a simulator that allows you to watch what will happen to the sun where you live on the day:

Where and when can you see the total eclipse?

On Monday, August 21st, you can see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun, anywhere in North America. To see a total eclipse, where the moon fully covers the sun for a short few minutes, you must be in the path of totality.

A view of the United States during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, showing the umbra (black oval), penumbra (concentric shaded ovals), and path of totality (red). This version includes images of the Sun showing its appearance in a number of locations, each oriented to the local horizon. Credit: NASA/SVS You can find more information at: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4314

Experience the Eclipse!

The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East.

Map of the United States during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017

Maps of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. CREDIT: NASA Goddard

Experience the Eclipse!

The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East.

Map of the United States during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017

Maps of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. CREDIT: NASA Goddard

PROTECT YOUR EYES!

NASA eye safety

How can I view the eclipse safely?

The most important this to remember is that it is never safe to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun without the proper safety glasses. The only time you can look at the sun without safety glasses is during the brief moments of totality. There is a lot of great information at NASA and the AAS (American Astronomical Society) about how to safely look directly at the sun as well as indirectly. For all these points and more check out:

Timing down to the second!

The first point of contact will be at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality begins there at 10:16 a.m. PDT.  Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.  The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT.  From there the lunar shadow leaves the United States at 4:09 EDT.  Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

This animation closely follows the Moon’s umbra shadow as it passes over the United States during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse Credit: NASA/SVS

Event UTC Time EDT Time
First location to see the partial eclipse begin Aug 21 at 15:46:51 Aug 21 at 11:46:51 AM
First location to see the full eclipse begin Aug 21 at 16:48:36 Aug 21 at 12:48:36 PM
 First location in Oregon Aug 21 at 17:15:57  Aug 21 at 1:15:57 PM
Maximum eclipse (greatest duration) Aug 21 at 18:21:49 Aug 21 at 2:21:49 PM
 Last location in South Carolina Aug 21 at 18:49:09 Aug 21 at 2:49:09 PM
Last location to see the full eclipse end Aug 21 at 20:02:34 Aug 21 at 4:02:34 PM
Last location to see the partial eclipse end Aug 21 at 21:04:23 Aug 21 at 5:04:23 PM
NASA - What can you see during a total solar eclipse?

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CREDIT: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio