The #United States is getting ready for a total coast-to-coast solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, for the first time in about a century, marking a pretty thrilling sight that millions of Americans will be able to observe (with recommended caution, however).

Total Solar eclipses occur at a frequency of about once every two or three years. While not being an utterly rare event, they often end up in the middle of nowhere like the South Pacific Ocean or the Antarctic. This one, however – the first of it’s kind since 1918- will cut diagonally across the entire United States. It is believed that two minutes of darkness will engulf 14 states and observers will be able to see the Moon’s 113-kilometre wide shadow from Oregon in the west to South Carolina in the east.

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The US, being the only country to witness this total eclipse, it is expected that international visitors, in large numbers will gather to watch this magnificent event.

It is believed that two minutes of darkness will engulf 14 states and observers will be able to see the Moon’s 113-kilometre wide shadow from Oregon in the west to South Carolina in the east. The US, being the only country to witness this total eclipse, it is expected that international visitors, in large numbers will gather to watch this magnificent event.

What is a total solar eclipse?

In a #Total Solar Eclipse, the moon is supposed to pass between the Sun and the Earth, casting a dark shadow and making the Sun’s normally obscured atmosphere (the solar corona) as well as bright stars and planets visible. An eclipse of this kind involves a slight drop in temperature, a dazzling filtering effect of light and the Sun’s corona encapsulating the Moon as a spectacular aura, for a very short moment.

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The path to be traced by the eclipse

The track of totality- complete darkness- is expected to start near Lincoln City, Oregon. As the shadow of the moon makes its way into the US, the path is estimated to reduce to about 60 to 70 miles wide. The closer one is to the center – the eye of the eclipse being Carbondale, Illinois, the longer will be the totality, with a maximum duration estimated at 2 minutes 40 seconds. Totality is estimated to shift from Oregon to:

  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

What the experts say

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission in Washington recently made a remark that this will be the first occasion when a celestial event will be viewed by so many people and explored from so many vantage points- from space, from the air, from the ground.

According to Rick Fienberg, spokesman for the American Astronomical Society, even a 99 percent partial eclipse is not nearly as awe-provoking as a total eclipse.

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He believes there’s a difference of ‘day and night’ between the two.

Dan McGlaun, an eclipse veteran who’s witnessed 12 total solar eclipses states that even if the Sun is 99.99 percent eclipsed for the observers, the will not have the fortune to experience the full, jaw-dropping, knee-buckling, emotionally overloading, a completely overwhelming spectacle that is a totality.

Spots of interest

Since the path of totality is only a 100 miles wide and only available for a matter of seconds, there are only a handful of places to offer the breathtaking marvelous sight.

Here are a few ones you ought to pay a visit:

Columbia, South Carolina.

  1. Nashville, Tennessee.
  2. Carbondale, Illinois.
  3. Madras, Oregon.
  4. Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
  5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  6. Greenville, South California.
  7. St Joseph, Missouri.
  8. North Platte, Nebraska.
  9. Casper, Wyoming.
  10. Snake River Valley, Idaho

The live video of this cosmic event will also be broadcast by NASA and watch parties held at various national parks, libraries, and parks nationwide. #States Of America