The total solar eclipse of 2017 is almost here, but exactly what day is it happening? It’s time to get prepared, because it may be closer than you think.
The total solar eclipse is happening this Monday, August 21, 2017.
From Oregon to South Carolina, a stretch of about 70 miles in America will have a “path of totality,” where they’ll see the solar eclipse 100 percent. This includes areas in Idaho, Illinois, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. In areas where there’s a full eclipse, the temperature could drop as much as 10 degrees.
NASA has an interactive map that shows exactly where the eclipse can be seen.
The total solar eclipse will only last a little over two minutes. It will begin at 9:06 a.m. PDT in Madras, Oregon, 10:15 a.m. MDT in Idaho Falls, 11:37 a.m. CDT in Lincoln, Nebraska, 11:46 a.m. CDT in Jefferson City, Missouri, 11:58 a.m. CDT in Nashville, and 1:13 p.m. EDT in Columbia, South Carolina.
Other people in nearby areas will be able to see a partial solar eclipse. You’ll want to wear proper eye protection if you want to look at the eclipse. (See Heavy’s story about where to get free glasses here.)
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon’s disk completely covers the sun’s disk in the sky. For a couple minutes, the sun is shadowed by the moon, leaving brief darkness in the area as the moon shadows the sun. It’s a unique and fascinating experience.
If you’re traveling to see the eclipse, book some extra time. Some NASA officials are predicting that this could be one of the worst traffic days in U.S. history, because so many people nearby the regions of totality will want to drive in to see the full eclipse in all its glory.
The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. won’t be around until 2024, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on this one if you’re near the path of totality.