New Moon on Monday – Solar Eclipse is Coming!

Where are you going to be on Monday, August 21, 2017?

white_light_coronaAre you going to be working in an office?  Or will you be seeing the sight of a life time? The countdown is on!  To steal a quote from one of my all time favorite movies, “LadyHawke”.

In 26 days, in Columbia…

there will be a day without a night…

…and a night without a day.

In less than a month a small portion of the United States will be experiencing a total solar eclipse. While eclipses happen somewhere on the planet every year, the path of totality (total solar eclipse) hasn’t swept across the U.S. in 99 years and this time it is making a transcontinental cut straight through the center of the country.

I will not be in an office in Atlanta (even though you will see a partial) on this day, oh no no.  I will be in South Carolina in the path of totality and I urge you to take the day off and hit the roads to catch a glimpse of stars in the middle of the day.

The last time the U.S. had a total solar eclipse was in 1991, and was only visible from Hawaii.  Before that, in 1979, the total eclipse that hit the mainland was only visible in the Pacific-Northwest, and would be 40 years before the next big one. The time has finally arrived and it indeed is big.  It hasn’t been since 1918 that a total solar eclipse made it’s away down the middle of the Continental U.S.!  The time is now because as you can see it is going to be a few years before you have a chance to witness it again.

21stCenturyNorthAmericanEclipses.png

The Path

Are you in the path?  NASA states that most of the country should catch a small portion of the eclipse but to see the total eclipse you need to be in the direct path.  The path of totality is only 60 miles wide, so it is very narrow. On this interactive map you can plug in your zip code to see if you are in the path of the eclipse, the animation is pretty cool, it will show you how much you will actually glimpse.

Visit Farmer’s Almanac to see where you can see partials and total’s and the times table.

map

“You suddenly feel as though you can see the clockwork of the solar system. Where you think you lived doesn’t look like the same place anymore. We kind of know — in the back of our minds — that we live in a giant ball and it revolves around a hot ball of gas, and we’re floating in space. But you don’t really believe it until you see something like a total solar eclipse, where everything is all lined up and you go whoaaa. Other planets pop out. You got instant nighttime. And you can see Mercury and Venus usually. And sometimes Mars and Jupiter. … It looks like the pictures from the textbook. It’s not entirely a science thing anymore. … It’s mostly a thing where you have a better appreciation of where you are in the solar system.” – Ernie Wright, NASA

Where Can You See the Eclipse in the South?

You can check out all the areas by visiting http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/maps.htm  For my friends and family living in Georgia, you have a few options for viewing.

As stated above: Atlanta will see a partial eclipse.  “Partial” sounds so blase but even if you can’t take off to witness the total eclipse, you will still be able to see a large portion of it, 97% according to Farmers Almanac.

Atlanta 1:05 p.m. 2:36 p.m. 97.0% 4:01 p.m.

So if you are in your office, you may be wondering why it got dark at 2:36 in the afternoon.  97% partial is very dangerous on the eyes to look at as the moon is not covering the entire sun.  Eclipse glasses are a must in this zone. Start time is 1:05 and end is 4:01.

There is a tiny area in north Georgia (Toccoa, Blairsville and Clayton) that is in the total eclipse path.  (does anyone else start humming Total Eclipse of the Heart when you read that?)  Clayton has the longest totality time (how long the sun is completely covered) because it is almost dead center.  North Carolina, like Georgia has a tiny little portion of the state, but Tennessee and South Carolina has quite a few towns in the path.  Click the images to see up close.

 

If for some reason your boss has you chained to your desk during the small window of the eclipse. Fear not you can stream it live.

Eye Safety

Looking at an eclipse directly will damage your eyes.  Don’t do it.  Purchase glasses. Please read how to safely watch the eclipse here. I picked my glasses up at the Planetarium at the University of South Carolina in Aiken, SC for 2 bucks.

safety_2

Phone Apps

There’s an app for that!

 

Resources:

I urge you to read more.  It is fascinating! For more information please visit:

I hope you find a spot to see this phenomenon.  Lots of cities have events, and the areas are going to be packed.  I will be in the woods somewhere in South Carolina.  I am not telling you where, find your own spot! 😀

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

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