Total Eclipse 2017 From 30A

Dated: 08/21/2017

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Some fun facts about the total eclipse:

A solar eclipse is a lineup of the Sun, the Moon, and Earth. The Moon, directly between the Sun and Earth, casts a shadow on our planet. If you’re in the dark part of that shadow (the umbra), you’ll see a total eclipse. If you’re in the light part (the penumbra), you’ll see a partial eclipse. (30A will see a partial eclipse)Image title

A solar eclipse happens at New Moon. The Moon has to be between the Sun and Earth for a solar eclipse to occur. The only lunar phase when that happens is New Moon.

This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. The last one occurred February 26, 1979. Unfortunately, not many people saw it because it clipped just five states in the Northwest and the weather for the most part was bleak. Before that one, you have to go back to March 7, 1970.

Totality lasts a maximum of 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds. That’s it. To experience that length, you’ll need to be slightly south of Carbondale, Illinois, in Giant City State Park. You might think about getting there early.

The end of the eclipse for the U.S. is not on land. The center line’s last contact with the U.S. occurs at the Atlantic Ocean’s edge just southeast of Key Bay, South Carolina.

Image titleTotality is safe to look at. During the time the Moon’s disk covers that of the Sun, it’s safe to look at the eclipse. In fact, to experience the awesomeness of the event, you must look at the Sun without a filter during totality.

Yes, the Sun’s a lot bigger. Our daytime star’s diameter is approximately 400 times larger than that of the Moon. What a coincidence that it also lies roughly 400 times farther away. This means both disks appear to be the same size.

Nature will take heed. Depending on your surroundings, as totality nears you may experience strange things. You’ll notice a resemblance to the onset of night, though not exactly. Areas much lighter than the sky near the Sun lie all around the horizon. Shadows look different. Listen. Usually, any breeze will dissipate and birds will stop chirping. It is quiet. Feel. A 10°–15° F drop in temperature may occur.

The future is bright but long. The next total solar eclipse over the continental U.S. occurs April 8, 2024. It’s a good one, too. Depending on where you are (on the center line), the duration of totality lasts at least 3 minutes and 22 seconds on the east coast of Maine and stretches to 4 minutes and 27 seconds in southwestern Texas. After that eclipse, it’s a 20-year wait until August 23, 2044 (and, similar to the 1979 event, that one is visible only in Montana and North Dakota). Total solar eclipses follow in 2045 and 2078.Image title

Stacey Petrucci

After years of vacationing along the Emerald Coast and falling in love with this beautiful area, I was fortunate enough to fulfill my dream to relocate here from Dallas Texas and live on the worlds mo....

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