Photo credit: Michael Zeiler, www.GreatAmericanEclipse.com
Make your plans now for next year's total solar eclipse! If you've never seen a total eclipse, it's a spectacular event you won't want to miss. And luckily, more than half of the US lives within a one-day drive of the "path of totality" (shown above as the wide yellow line running from WA to SC). Find a location near you using this interactive Google Map. Note the times on that map are listed in UT, so see times below.
Starting at 10:15am Pacific Time on August 21, 2017, the shadow of the Moon will take about an hour and a half to sweep across the US starting in Washington and arriving at the Atlantic Ocean at 2:49pm Eastern Time. (Mountain Time about 11:45am and Central Time around 1:15pm) In the areas covered by the 60-mile wide path of totality, night will fall in teh middle of the day for a couple of minutes. The temperature will drop, animals behave as though it's night, and there is sunset on all horizons. It is truly magnificant and the experience often creates lifelong "eclipse chasers" who travel the world to experience the event again.
Whether you make it to the path of totality or not, be sure to view the eclipse safely! The rest of the country will experience a lovely partial eclipse that can only be viewed with eye protection. There are many ways to view the eclipse safely - using projection or solar filters (sunglasses are not enough). See these videos from the Exploratorium for safe viewing techniques.
The Night Sky Network will soon be releasing a PowerPoint, posters, and other resources in preparation for this eclipse. Be sure to check our NSN Resource Page for the most up-to-date information.
Also check out this resource guide from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for more information. Happy eclipse chasing!