Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Don't Be Left in the Dark

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse who's trajectory will stretch from Lincoln City, Oregon beginning at 9:05 a.m. PDT and end in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT.  Everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse, while the thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states.  

Monday's event will be the first total solar eclipse spanning the entire continental United States since 1918 and the first visible anywhere in the Lower 48 states in 38 years.   The map below shows the path of the moon’s umbral shadow – in which the sun will be completely obscured by the moon, as well as the fraction of the sun’s area covered by the moon outside the path of totality.  Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality.  That could severely hurt your eyes.  However, there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing – which requires some type of filtering device and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. Both methods should produce clear images of the partial phase of an eclipse.  Click here for eclipse viewing techniques and safety.

Temperatures along the eclipse path could tumble by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 Celsius), according to Paul Walker, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.  The chill in the air will peak about five to 20 minutes after the moon’s shadow passes by. Temperatures could take three hours to rebound across the Great Plains and East Coast, said Brad Harvey, meteorologist with MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“The change in temperature may be larger and take longer to recover in the West,” Harvey said. The eclipse will start to be seen in the morning which is “the time of day when temperatures are rising most rapidly.”

Musician Bonnie Tyler will sing her hit song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" during the solar eclipse aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that leaves from Miami, Florida for a seven-day trip on Sunday, August 20. It will sail to an area of the Atlantic Ocean where passengers will have a chance to experience the period when the moon passes directly in front of the sun.

Thirty-four years ago, the song reached the number one position on popular music charts in both the United States and her native Britain.  Tyler made a number of records in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was perhaps the most successful period in her recording career. Her songs include “It’s a Heartache” and “Holding Out for a Hero,” which was used in “Footloose,” a popular movie from 1984.

NASA will cover the eclipse live from coast to coast, beginning at noon EDT. Get more details on NASA's Eclipse Site.

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Scott Helmer

Scott Helmer is a Musician, Author, Speaker, and host of "The Scott Helmer Show."  Sign-up to get his blog, news & more delivered directly to your inbox.  Since 2012, Helmer’s concerts have helped raise more than $2 Million Dollars for good causes across America ranging from military veterans and their families, equine and pet rescues, food banks, non-profit theatres, suicide and crisis prevention, special needs children and adults, high schools and colleges, and more.  Contact & booking here.  The Scott Helmer Show airs live SUN thru THURS @ 11 pm ET/ 8 pm PT and each night Helmer welcomes guests from the world of Entertainment, Current Affairs, Unexplained Phenomena, Conspiracy & more.