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08/21/2016

Countdown is on: One Year Until Solar Eclipse!

The most exiting 2 minutes and 41.2 seconds in astronomy is 365 days away! The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse will happen right over our next of the woods at 1:24 pm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. This will be  one of the best locations, in the whole U.S., to see the eclipse next year! 

The last total solar eclipse was in 1991 and it was only visible in Hawaii. The last time for the continental US was back in February of 1979!  This is a long time coming and the countdown is on! 

Sol ec 2

A solar eclipse occurs the moon passes between the sun and the Earth.  A TOTAL solar eclipse is when the moon is perfectly aligned with sun AND the Earth. It looks as though the moon completely covers the sun and daylight quickly turns into a deep twilight with planets and bright stars becoming visible. It's one of Mother Nature's amazing events! 

The Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017 begins in the Pacific Ocean and enters the United States at Yaquina Head, Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PDT. Over the next 92 minutes, the Moon’s shadow races across Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This total solar eclipse will be the first to cross the nation from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean since 1918. This will also be the very first total solar eclipse to cross exclusively over the USA and no other country since our nation’s founding in 1776.

Sol ec 1

The most important criterion for selecting a viewing site is the weather. Every eclipse viewer should have a plan for mobility. Locations with a good nearby highway systems are best. Across the US, the path of the eclipse is between 60 and 70 miles wide. The longer durations are closer to the centerline of the path of totality.

Check out this awesome guide from the Great American Eclipse so you can prepare for, and view this rare celestial event.

 

There is another map below from google (which can be interactive here) shows the path of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 Aug 21. According to NASA, the northern and southern path limits are blue and the central line is red. You MUST be somewhere within the central path (between the blue lines) to see the total phase of the eclipse. The eclipse is longest on the central line (red). The yellow lines crossing the path indicate the time and position of maximum eclipse at 10-minute intervals. Again, it's much more important to watch the weather forecasts a day or two before the eclipse and choose a location with the best chance of a cloud-free sky during the eclipse. 

Solar ec map

For more information about the total solar eclipse head to The Great American Eclipse's website or to NASA's website!

I personally cannot wait! Are you excited? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! Links to my pages are below! 

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-Meteorologist Katie McGraw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just one year to go. We can't wait!

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