A Solar Eclipse is a natural phenomenon. However, the Total Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21 called the “Great American Eclipse” will only be visible in the United States and no other country can witness the said event. This is also the first total solar eclipse to touch the North American coasts in almost a century.

It is a known fact that solar eclipses are only visible in selected parts of the world at any given time. In the next 100 years, Washington Post noted that "there will be 69 solar eclipses that will be visible somewhere around the globe but only a few will be witnessed by the American population."

The most notable recorded eclipses in North American territories, on the other hand, were dated back on June 8, 1918 and Feb.

26, 1979. During the 1979 eclipse, the phenomenon was seen in North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

What is a solar eclipse and when does it occur

As aforementioned above, a solar eclipse is a natural astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the moon lines up between the Earth and the Sun. The total eclipse refers to the shadow that is exactly under the moon, which is known as the umbra.

The visibility of a total eclipse is dependent on its path of totality, which is the route of the moon’s umbra as it traverses the Earth. As for the Great American Eclipse this August, its path of totality is estimated between “60 to 70 miles wide at any given point.” But take note, the eclipse will be less visible if you are farther from the path.

Time and location

As for the exact time and location of the biggest eclipse in American history, it will commence in Oregon (West Coast) at 10:16 a.m. PDT and it will end in Charleston, South Carolina (East Coast) at 2:48 p.m. The total solar eclipse will last (from the beginning until the end) for about one hour and 30 minutes but at any given location, it will last for about two to three minutes.

As for the next eclipse, Americans will be able to witness it after seven years on Apr. 8, 2024 and its visibility will be from Texas to New England. Other scheduled eclipses in the U.S. coasts will be after two decades — 2044, 2045 and 2078.

What happens during an eclipse?

The upcoming total solar eclipse over the contiguous U.S.

coasts is a rare event. But what really happens during an eclipse? In some ancient and modern civilizations, this natural celestial occurrence might connote “supernatural causes or bad omens.” At times, it brings unnecessary worries and fears, especially for those who are not aware of its astronomical explanation.

Eclipses, however, should not be feared. The most common changes that will be experienced during this event will be a decrease in temperature for at least 10 degrees or more. The plants and animals, on the other hand, will act as though it is nighttime. But for humans, there are no recorded physical effects even though there are some claims of psychological impacts throughout history.