Astronomy

Viewing 2017 Solar Eclipse - How important is it to be in the center(blue line)?

Viewing 2017 Solar Eclipse - How important is it to be in the center(blue line)?


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I'm viewing the 2017 Solar Eclipse in Graham County, NC. How important is it to be in the center(blue line)?

It is almost entirely national forest there so it would be fairly easy to get to assuming I can park somewhere.

http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/TSE_2017_GoogleMapFull.html


If you want to see a total solar eclipse, you just need to be between the two red lines on that map. As long as you're within there, what we call the "path of totality", you will be able to see a total solar eclipse.

If you are outside of the red lines, you will only see a partial solar eclipse. This map shows what percentage of the sun will be covered the further north or south you are of the line.

Graham County is entirely within the path of totality, so you should see a total solar eclipse. If you're planning to travel, however, it might be too late. Most campgrounds and hotels within the path are already full. If you're already within the path of totality, my recommendation would be to stay put. Travelling on that day, or even that week, will be difficult.

The center of the path of totality will offer the longest viewing for the eclipse. The further from the center, the shorter it will last. The aforementioned map shows timings at different distances from the center. Notice that it also helps to be close longitudinally as well as latitudinally (that may not be a word).


Annular Solar Eclipse of 2017 Feb 26

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11 places to watch the solar eclipse in West Michigan

In this Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 photo, Colton Hammer tries out his new eclipse glasses he just bought from the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City in preparation for the eclipse. (Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News via AP)

For the first time since 1979, there will be a total solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, when the moon will pass in between the sun and the Earth.

The eclipse is expected to be visible across a 70-mile band that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina. Those within the eclipse's path -- the zone of totality -- will enter complete darkness for around three minutes.

That zone does not come into Michigan. But there is expected to be "substantial" coverage of the sun -- with 80 to 85 percent covered, according to Grand Valley State University Professor Dennis Furton.

GVSU Physics Professor Ross Reynolds said that the Grand Rapids area will see the maximum amount of coverage -- 81 percent -- around 2:20 p.m. Monday.

When watching the eclipse, Reynolds said it is most important to avoid looking directly at the sun without proper protection, such as special-purpose solar filter "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses are not safe.

Libraries and museums across West Michigan are planning watch parties Monday, Aug. 21, to help people safely enjoy the rare eclipse.

Read on for a list of events that may be near you.

In this May 20, 2012, file photo, the annular solar eclipse is seen as the sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains from downtown Denver. The solar eclipse that is cutting a diagonal path across the U.S. next month is a boon for Missouri tourism. Some towns will have more visitors than residents on Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

1. Grand Rapids Public Museum

Where: Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI

What: Eclipse Party will include hands-on activities, safe eclipse viewing, meal deals and a live stream of the total eclipse in the Meijer Theater

Scientists and volunteers will observe the upcoming eclipse for further study. (Associated Press graphic)

2. Kent District Library: East Grand Rapids Branch

Where: Wege Plaza, 750 Lakeside Drive SE, East Grand Rapids, MI

What: Viewing on Wege Plaza with solar eclipse glasses, space science games and activities

In this Tuesday, July 18, 2017 photo, Twin Falls High School science teachers Ashley Moretti, left, and Candace Wright, right, use their eclipse shades to look at the sun as they pose for a portrait at Twin Falls High School in Twin Falls, Idaho. (Pat Sutphin/The Times-News via AP)

3. Kent District Library: Alto Branch

Where: Alto Elementary School, 6150 Bancroft Ave., Alto, MI

What: Hands-on activities to learn about the sun and Earth for families and children. Free solar viewing glasses available.

Cardboard frames for solar eclipse glasses are stacked in the American Paper Optics factory in Bartlett, Tenn., on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The company is one of many businesses -- hotels, campgrounds and stores -- taking advantage of the total solar eclipse -- when the moon passes between Earth and the sun. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

4. Gary Byker Memorial Library

Where: Gary Byker Memorial Library Hudsonville branch, 3338 Van Buren St., Hudsonville, MI

What: 1 p.m. parking lot party with crafts, experiments, chalk art and a "drone drop" of frozen yogurt. Guests are asked to bring their own glasses to view the eclipse. Some may be available for adults and children while supplies last.

In this Wednesday, March 9, 2016 file photo, people wearing protective glasses look up at the sun to watch a solar eclipse in Jakarta, Indonesia. Doctors say not to look at the sun without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun, called totality. That's the only time it's safe to view the eclipse without protection. When totality is ending, then it's time to put them back on. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)


A State-By-State Eclipse Viewing Guide

The total solar eclipse is cutting a narrow path across the U.S. on August 21. These are the best places to see it.

Although nearly everyone in the continental U.S. will see some sort of solar display on August 21st, there are only 12 states in the Union that will get the full show. This guide will help you pick the very best spots to watch the Great American Solar Eclipse in any of state you choose.

The 2017 eclipse will first hit the coastal islands of Oregon before moving inland. Though Oregon can get cloudy weather now and then, the state is still coming out in full force for its first-in-the-nation eclipse viewing. The appropriately named Oregon Eclipse will draw out the jam-band crowd, including String Cheese Incident fans.

In the state, the Oregon Solar Fest may be your best t option. While lacking in the music department, Madras has made a big eclipse push and is bringing in NASA, helicopter and hot air balloon flights, and other opportunities that make it a more family friendly affair.

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument will also allow eclipse viewers to experience some paleontology with lots of animals from the Eocene and Myocene.

Idaho is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. But rural campsites where you can take in the scenery and catch an eclipse might be full.

One of the best places is at Craters of the Moon National Monument, which will mix science with gorgeous rifts, inactive volcanoes, the wonderful Snake River, and wild flora and fauna. NASA will launch high altitude balloons there in the lead up to the event, and provide astronomy lessons and other events. There is first come, first serve camping, but it will be very limited.

Craters of the Moon actually has a quite important place in space exploration. Apollo astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, Joe Engle, and Eugene Cernan crew trained there and were eventually assigned to Apollo 14 with Engle and Cernan as backup crew members.

The most populated area of Idaho on the path is Idaho Falls, which is just south of the center line, still in the path of totality. There are lots of events happening in that area, including at the Museum of Idaho, which will have special space exhibits.

The eclipse path in our least populous state begins at Grand Teton National Park, south of Yellowstone. Totality will be visible throughout the park, but the closer you are to Jackson Hole, the better. But a note: this resort area will be one of the busier places on the eclipse path.

The city of Casper is the second largest in the state and will be right in the path of totality. It will be hosting an entire festival dedicated to the event and will have music, charity races, Apollo astronauts, and an astronomy convention.

Nebraska has made a giant eclipse push, and with good reason &mdash the eclipse will be visible through a great majority of the state.

Homestead National Monument in the southeastern part of the state will be one of the biggest viewing sites. In fact,Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society, will be there with the Junior Rangers. NASA will also have plenty of programming on hand, including live broadcasts on NASA-TV.

Of course, if you want to meet an astronaut, you may have to go to SolFest in Hastings, where former astronaut Clayton Anderson will be in attendance. The non-profit Hear Nebraska will be gathering together indie rock and folk performers as part of their Good Living tour at this event, and the actual eclipse viewing will take place on prairie land where you'll see the majestic Sandhills Crane.

Or you can go to Carhenge near Alliance in the Northwest of the state, which is exactly what it sounds like: a replica of Stonehenge made out of classic cars. There's plenty going on in Alliance in the lead-up to the event, including Motocross races.

Most viewers may have clouded out Kansas as an option, but a sliver of the center line will run through the northeast of the state, mostly contained to Doniphan County. This may be the sleeper place to see the eclipse and get away from it all in its brief window between Nebraska and Missouri.

Astronomy magazine editor Michael E. Bakich has put together an event at the St. Joseph airport roughly meant to be an "eclipse barbecue," an informal sort of star hangout at the first community in Missouri touched by the center line. The entire city of St. Joseph will be celebrating the event, making it a great viewing opportunity. Kansas City is at the very outer edge of totality and is one of the larger cities on the path, but won't last as long as St. Joseph.

The state's capital, Jefferson City, will host plenty of events, including a Pink Floyd tribute band, a viewing of ET, a "crop circle" corn maze, and barbecue.

Both Jefferson City, Missouri and Murfreesboro, Tennessee are hosting Pink Floyd tribute bands playing Dark Side of the Moon. So you'll have to choose between the two to hear the song "Eclipse" live during the eclipse.

Forget Pink Floyd tribute bands. Forget String Cheese Incident. If you want to make music tourism part of your eclipse viewing, you need to be at Moonstock in Carterville. As the second totality hits, heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne will take the stage and sing "Bark at the Moon." This is not a joke.

Carbondale is calling itself the eclipse crossroads as you'll be able to see the 2024 eclipse there as well. Carbondale will also host the Fuller Future Fest on eclipse 2017 weekend. Oh, and Carbondale will also have a horror house, if that's your thing.

The center line running through Trail of Tears State Forest and Shawnee National Forest will be part of the longest duration of the eclipse. While most sites on the centerline will see a totality lasting 2m39s, the centerline stretches over all of Illinois to a maximum duration of 2m41s before shortening again in Kentucky. To make sure you have the right spot, take a look at this map.

On August 21, 1955, a family living just outside of Hopkinsville, Kentucky reported that they'd been ambushed by aliens. That event is commemorated every year in nearby Kelly at the Little Green Men Festival. There must be a sinister plan afoot for the eclipse to fall on this date in this area 62 years to the day of the ambush that was probably Great Horned Owls in an agitated state.

Hopkinsville is also the point of greatest eclipse. This is when the Moon is closest to Earth's axis during the eclipse, which is often at or near great duration. Unfortunately, Hopkinsville loses that second that Illinois gained above everybody else and remains at 2m40s, still longer than much of the nation.

The very northern tip ofLand Between the Lakes National Recreation area nears (but doesn't fall on) center line. It will be hosting Sun and Moon Days in the few days before, during, and after the eclipse. That festival will include &mdash you guessed it &mdash more Pink Floyd, this time in laser show form.

Nashville will be in the path of totality, making it the largest city to experience a total solar eclipse. There will be plenty to do there, including a special Grand Ole Opryeclipse concert with Darius Rucker and Wynonna Judd. There's also a Grand Ole Opry viewing event.

Chattanooga and Knoxville, unfortunately, are just out of the path of totality. But the eclipse will cut through portions of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which will host events at Cades Cove.

Throughout Tennessee, the state park system will be hosting a bevy of events. Most of them require tickets, and several events are sold out. Among the more interesting ones with tickets remaining is an archaelogical site at Mound Bottom and a bologna BBQ.

Most of North Carolina's eclipse path will center on Great Smoky Mountains and Nantahala National Forest. Great Smoky Mountains will have an event at Oconaluftee, but the untamed forests of Nantahala may prove to be quite an adventure come eclipse day. A few small towns will have events, including Murphy, but otherwise, the eclipse's path into North Carolina is fairly quiet.

The eclipse's visit to Georgia isn't long. Of populated areas, most of it will go through Rabun County, which is hosting a variety of events. The path of totality also encompasses the Chattahoochee National Forest, which has no formal events owing to its more rugged terrain.

The eclipse leaves the lower 48 on the coastlines of South Carolina through Francis Marion National Forest. The park is doing some limited admittance events the day of at Buck Hall Recreation Area. Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge on the shores of South Carolina will officially see the eclipse off, and has an event as well. It also has plenty of alligators.

South Carolina also has its biggest cities, Charleston and Columbia, in the path of totality. In fact, center line runs just south of Columbia. Columbia is Columbia. It is, after all, closest to the center line. There will be events all over the region commemorating the eclipse spanning renaissance art, avant garde plays, and a water balloon battle. The South Carolina Philharmonic will play music from Star Wars the night before E-day. During the day, there will be a Battle of the Bands and a paddleboarding event, amongst other things.

Think you might be in the path? Check NASA's map. If you're between the blue lines, you're good to go. If you're near the red line, you're incredibly lucky. If you're outside those areas&mdasheither pack up your bags and expect big clouds or settle for a partial eclipse, which will be visible nationwide.


Sunshine over most of Wyoming in the summer is a common occurrence, about 75% of the time during the summer. A minimum in cloudiness occurs in the late summer especially during the morning hours. Cumulus clouds develop almost every day contributing to partly to mostly cloudy afternoons. If you are looking for the odds of seeing the solar eclipse Wyoming the odds are in your favor. The solar eclipse will reach totality from 11:34 to 11:48 AM lasting for just over 2 minutes.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Click on Images to Enlarge


Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Astronomer Explains Everything You Need to Know about August Event

The first total solar eclipse to pass from the West Coast to the East Coast in almost a century will see parts of the U.S. plunged into darkness over the course of the day on August 21. With only a month to go, Newsweek spoke to Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, about what the eclipse is, what happens on the day—and what we can learn from the cross-coastal event.

What is a total solar eclipse?

For an astronomer, it is a fantastic chance to get data about the Sun that is not available in any other way. For the general public, it is a fantastic and awe-filled experience, when it gets abruptly dark by a thousand times within seconds in the middle of the day. Many people call it the most beautiful experience they have ever had, even "life-changing."

Why do they happen?

Combination photograph shows the beginning (top L) to the end (top L to bottom R) of a total solar eclipse Beawiharta Beawiharta/Reuters

During a total eclipse, when the Moon blocks the solar photosphere (the everyday sun, the sphere from which Greek 'photos' meaning, light, comes), the blue sky vanishes and we can see the faint outer part of the Sun that is normally too faint to see.

Are they rare events?

Total eclipses are visible from a narrow path a hundred or so miles wide and thousands of miles long about every 18 months. So they aren't so rare if you are willing to travel. But if you wait at one spot after you see a total eclipse, on the average, you have to wait about 350 years for a second total eclipse to come to you.

Why is the August 21 solar eclipse special?

It is the first total solar eclipse in 99 years whose path of totality crosses the continental United States from west coast to east coast. It is the first total solar eclipse ever that goes over only U.S. land and no other country.

What will happen on the day?

Map showing the path of the total solar eclipse. Wolfgang Strickling/CC

If you are in the band of totality, you will see (if you look through special ‘solar filters’ that darken the Sun by a factor of about 100,000) the Moon gradually covering the sun for about 75 min, then the beautiful totality, and then the uncovering for another 75 min.

What will people in the path of the eclipse see?

At the onset of totality, the remaining crescent of the uncovered part of the sun will wane, and bright spots ('Baily's beads') will gleam through valleys on the edge of the Moon. The last bead is so bright with respect to everything else in the sky that it is called the 'diamond-ring effect,' with the inner solar corona as the band of the ring. Totality will be beautiful for up to two minutes, 40 seconds, depending on where in the path of totality you are the corona will be visible and the sky will be dark around the sun, with a reddish horizon all around. Then the diamond ring and Baily's beads appear in reverse.

What about those not directly in its path?

A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, in 2016. Beawiharta Beawiharta/Reuters

They will see merely a partial eclipse—and they will wonder why other people think an eclipse is fabulous. It is only totality that is fabulous. For a partial eclipse, it isn't uninteresting to look up (through a special 'solar' filter all the time) and see the Moon gradually cover and then uncover the Sun, but nothing dramatic occurs.

When will the next total solar eclipse happen over the U.S.?

There will be a total eclipse whose path of totality sweeps up from Texas through Cleveland and over Canada to northern New England on April 8, 2014. But if all you see are partial phases, you'll have the same effect for annular eclipses (the Moon is a bit farther away from us than average so it doesn't completely cover the Sun leaving an annulus—a ring—of everyday sunlight, so the sky remains blue and the Baily's-beads/diamond-ring/corona don't appear). Partial phases will be visible in part of the eastern U.S. on 10 June , 2021 and throughout the US to the sides of the path of the annular eclipse of 14 October, 2023, whose annularity will sweep up the western U.S. from Texas to Oregon.

What can total solar eclipses tell us about the Sun?

A coronal mass ejection. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO

Aha, here's the important science: observing from Earth's surface during totality gives us the only full view of a major portion of the solar corona, the part that extends from its base at the edge of the everyday sun up for at least 3/4 of a solar radius, that is, hundreds of thousands of miles of the solar atmosphere.

The spacecraft that have ‘coronagraphs’ that make a sort of artificial eclipse hide that much of the lower and middle corona, since it is so bright it would scatter around in the optics and mess up their views of the outer corona.

A few ‘coronagraphs’ on high mountains on Earth can barely detect the corona, and not with the depth and detail that we can see at solar eclipses. So at a total solar eclipse, scientists collect important and unique information about how this major layer of the solar atmosphere functions, and how it changes over the 11-year solar cycle.

Other scientists—atmospheric scientists instead of astronomers—find out how Earth's atmosphere reacts to the shock of having sunlight turned off abruptly and then turned on abruptly, improving their understanding of Earth's atmosphere.


Best places to see the 2017 solar eclipse, it’s all about the weather

At no other time in history has the summer climatology of a narrow strip of land spanning from the salt marshes of South Carolina to the rugged coast of Oregon been under such scrutiny.

In a 70-mile wide path on Aug. 21, day will turn to night as the moon slips between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow that will create the first total solar eclipse to travel sea to shining sea in 99 years.

Prime viewing of the celestial ballet can be pricey for anyone outside the path, but no amount of money can buy the key ingredient to a successful show &mdash clear skies.

Related: Check your eclipse forecast

"The most important thing is what will the weather be like," said Vanessa Griffin, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration&rsquos Office of Satellite and Product Operations. "If you are looking at the coasts, you will see more clouds because of higher humidities."

That&rsquos why for hardcore eclipse chasers, it wasn&rsquot enough to just find a seat in the path of totality. The climatological history was also a consideration that ruled out many cities, such as Columbia, S.C., which has just a 44 percent chance of clear skies despite being in the path of highest impact, according to the National Centers of Environmental Information, or NCEI.

Palm Beach County is hundreds of miles from the path of totality. It will still experience 81 percent of the sun being obscured, with the first bite taken at 1:25 p.m. and maximum eclipse happening at 2:57 p.m.

But the chances of clear skies are just 50 percent.

One year from Sunday will be the first total solar eclipse visible from North America in nearly 40 years. People in a swath of states stretching from South Carolina to Oregon will see the full show.

Could we recreate this NASA map of the path of the 2017 solar eclipse? For simplicity's sake, we can just use the three lines, not the colored increments in between. I would just use the greatest duration marker, and delete the greatest eclipse.

Headline: Historic solar eclipse
Lead in: The first total solar eclipse for North America will occur a year from August 21 with a swath of states from Oregon to South Carolina in its direct path. The full show will be seen by people between the blue lines, but the eclipse is longest on the center (red) line. The marker shows where the greatest duration of the eclipse will occur, about 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
Source: NASA

Thank South Florida&rsquos reliable summertime thunderstorms for that. The afternoon storms build with the sea breeze, making a 3 p.m. viewing time less than ideal.

Related: Heat-activated eclipse stamps now available

"Some of this has to do with the time of day that the eclipse is passing over the cities," said Ronald Leeper, a research associate with NCEI. "In the afternoon, you just have more clouds in general, and it will hit the eastern half of the U.S. in the afternoon"

Leeper worked with cloud data collected from surface weather observation stations throughout the U.S. to compile an interactive map of areas most likely to have clear skies on Aug. 21. The stations gather five types of cloud cover: clear (no clouds), few, scattered, broken, and overcast.

What he found were cloud-free August skies in a sweeping swath of the Intermountain West.

In fact, if historical conditions hold true, towns such as Rexburg, Idaho, Casper, Wyo., and Lincoln, Neb., are the best bets for seeing the eclipse.

"Experts will tell you to stay mobile," said Deborah Byrd, editor-in-chief of the online astronomy magazine Earth and Sky. "I&rsquove rarely viewed a total or annular eclipse without having to be in the car at the last moment chasing down a hole in the clouds."

Download the Palm Beach Post WeatherPlus app here.

Rob Cox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyo., said the state&rsquos rainy season is May through July when a high pressure system across the southwest feeds in moisture from the Pacific Ocean.

But by August, dry air prevails. Casper has an 88 percent chance of clear skies on Aug. 21.

"Another situation that is kind of unique is our higher elevation allows you to see the sun as a bit larger," said Cox, noting that Casper is 5,200 feet above sea level. "Because you are at a higher elevation, a dry air mass is usually in place. It won&rsquot be hazy."

Two months out, NOAA has mapped the best places to watch the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire U.S. in 99 years. Florida isn't in the path of totality, but cities will still see a partial eclipse depending on cloud cover.

I was hoping for a map of Florida that showed where it was in the eclipse path and incorporated the numbers in the attached spreadsheet that show eclipse time, percent chance for clear skies, percent of sun blocked by moon.
Here's a link to the interactive map at NCEI: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/ready-set-eclipse

Headline: August eclipse in Florida
Lead in: Florida is not in the path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse, but it will still experience some of the eclipse depending on cloud cover.
Source: National Centers for Environmental Information

Rexburg, Idaho has a 91 percent chance of clear skies. Officials in the 30,000-resident town are expecting an additional 60,000 people for the eclipse &mdash not including day trippers.

"Every hotel we know of within 100 miles is booked," said Scott Johnson, Rexburg&rsquos director of economic development and community relations. "It&rsquos pretty crazy. We&rsquove heard prices as high as $1,500-a-night."

Full solar eclipses viewable from populated areas are rare. The last full solar eclipse in the United States was in 1979, but it only covered five states.

The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. is 2024. The next coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the U.S. is 2045

The Pacific Northwest will first see the Agu. 21 eclipse at about 10:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. A 90-minute journey will take it across the U.S. where South Carolina will be the last to see it beginning in Clemson at 2:37 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

About 12 million people live within the narrow path of the total eclipse, which includes the capital cities of Salem, Ore., Lincoln, Neb., Jefferson City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., and Columbia, S.C.

"If you can possibly get into the eclipse path, take the family, take the kids, because it will be one of the most amazing natural phenomena that you will ever see," said retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak, who has traveled to see 27 solar eclipses but was clouded out seven times.

In 2012, Espenak took his family to Australia to see a total solar eclipse. Clouds moved in as the moon took its place between Earth and sun. Totality was supposed to last two minutes. Espenak caught three seconds of it between breaks in the clouds.

In Florida, Key West has the highest chances for clear skies on Aug. 21 at 78.7 percent, according to Leeper&rsquos climatology. Fort Myers is second with a 68 percent chance of clear skies.

"It is so nice to see people interact with climate data and be able to use it to help them make decisions," Leeper said. "I would recommend having a Plan A and Plan B."


What is a solar eclipse and why are they important?

There’s nothing like a good solar eclipse to distract the news agenda from the misery of global events, whether it’s Donald Trump looking straight at it without any protective eyewear, or other Americans swapping said protective eyewear to instead squirt suncream in their eyes.

Seven million-plus people are estimated to have watched the event as it swept across the US from Oregon to South Carolina in August this year, but how many of them actually know what a solar eclipse is?

A solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and the Earth so that a shadow is cast onto Earth because the moon blocks the light of the sun.

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There are also three types of solar eclipse, the first of which, a total solar eclipse, is what Americans were treated to this year.

A total solar eclipse occurs only when the sun, moon and Earth are in a direct line, so is only visible from a small area on Earth - from the centre of the moon’s shadow. The sky becomes dark, as if it were night.

A partial solar eclipse is when the sun, moon and Earth aren’t exactly lined up, which results in the sun appearing to have a shadow across part of its surface.

The third type, an annular solar eclipse, creates a dark ring around the moon. It occurs when the moon is further away from Earth, so appears smaller and does not block out the sun completely.

The crucial safety advice, which may have not reached the White House, is that looking directly at the sun during a solar eclipse can damage your eyes.

According to Associated Press, the 2017 total solar eclipse was the “most-observed and most-photographed eclipse in history”.

The next total solar eclipse anywhere on Earth will be in South America in 2019, but Europeans will have to wait until 2026. Even then, Brits may have to travel to Iceland, Greenland or northern Spain to get a proper glimpse.

What about lunar eclipses?

A lunar eclipse is when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon. We can see the moon at night because it reflects light from the sun, so when the Earth blocks this light, it causes a lunar eclipse.

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A total lunar eclipse happens when the sun and the moon are aligned on either side of Earth.

The moon appears red because the small amount of sunlight that reaches the moon goes through the Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out most of the blue light.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses usually last hours and it is safe to look directly at them.

But why should we care?

Eclipses are not just simply brief spectacles for us to gaze at in awe, but important events used to study the Earth and the moon.


Culture

Women’s rights: In January, the Women’s March on Washington, which advocated for policies regarding women’s rights and other issues, became one of the largest single-day demonstrations in U.S. history.

The Washington Post estimated that more than 5 million people may have attended 653 marches in U.S. cities, rivaling participation in the Vietnam War Moratorium Days of 1969 and 1970.

Later, women of the #MeToo movement, a social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and assault, would be named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, after helping take down a number of pop culture’s most powerful men.

Super Bowl comeback: The New England Patriots mounted the largest comeback in Super Bowl history to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime after trailing by 25 points in the third quarter.

NFL anthem protests: During the 2017 football season, several National Football League players remained kneeling during the national anthem in silent protest of racial bias, violence and profiling by police forces around the country. President Trump attacked the players on Twitter, sparking a further wave of protest by NFL players.


All About Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses are fairly common – there are typically two solar eclipses per year occurring somewhere on Earth. Most folks will witness at least one partial solar eclipse in their lifetimes however, most folks who aren’t avid amateur astronomers will not witness one of the true splendors of nature – a total solar eclipse.

An eclipse occurs when one body passes in front of and obscures another body. In general, an eclipse typically refers to the Sun being blocked by the Moon (a solar eclipse) or the Earth blocking the Sun (a lunar eclipse). In order for this to occur, the three bodies (Sun, Moon, and Earth) have to be in a nearly perfectly straight line. As a result, a solar eclipse can only occur during New Moon and a lunar eclipse can only occur during Full Moon. These two moon phases occur every month, so why don’t we have solar and lunar eclipses each month? The answer lies in the Moon’s orbit.

The arrangement of the Sun, Moon, and Earth during lunar and solar eclipses. THE OBJECT SIZES AND DISTANCES ARE NOT TO SCALE. Credit: Prof. Patricia Reiff, Rice Space Institute

Let’s imagine that the Earth is stationary and the Sun and Moon both orbit our planet. From our viewpoint here on Earth that is how things appear. (This helped give rise to and support the geocentric “Earth-centered” model of the solar system that, up until a couple of hundred years ago, was widely accepted by many as the correct view of our universe.) From our viewpoint on Earth, the Sun appears to follow a specific path in the sky through the zodiac constellations, and this path is known as the ecliptic. For the moment, imagine this path as a hula hoop with the Earth at the center. The Moon does orbit the Earth, so now imagine its path as yet another hula circling the Earth. These hula hoops, however, do not lie in the same plane – the Moon’s orbit is tilted by a little over five degrees to the ecliptic. Now imagine these hula hoops together, one sitting inside the other, with one tilted a bit with respect to one another. As the Moon reaches new moon phase or even full moon phase, it will typically appear above or below the Sun in our sky – there is no eclipse.

The apparent path of the Sun through Earth’s sky (the ecliptic) is represented by the blue ellipse, while the apparent path of the Moon is represented by the red ellipse. The approximately five degree tilt of the Moon’s orbit relative to the ecliptic results in the Moon rarely being at at a node during the new moon (or full moon) phase. As a result, eclipses do not occur every month. Credit: Billy Teets

Approximately every six months though, the Moon and the Sun are found near one of the nodes – the points where the Moon’s orbit and the ecliptic intersect in our sky. This means that the Sun, Earth, and Moon lie in a straight line and an eclipse can occur.

In the above animation, the plane of the ecliptic is represented by the grey square and the plane of the Moon’s orbit is represented by the blue disk. Due to the tilt of the Moon’s orbit with respect to the ecliptic plane, half of the blue disk appears above the ecliptic plane and half appears below the ecliptic plane. In order for an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be near the intersection of the two planes (the line-of-nodes) – most of the time, however, it is too far above or below the line-of-nodes for an eclipse to occur. For information about this animation, including additional download options, can be found here. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

What Happens During a Solar Eclipse?

Most viewers of a solar eclipse will not get the opportunity to witness the grandeur of a total solar eclipse because of the narrow strip of totality. As shown in the figure at the top of this page, the Moon casts two shadows – a lighter, outer shadow known as the penumbra and a darker, inner shadow known as the umbra. From the viewpoint of the Moon, the Earth would be in a full phase and a noticeable shadow would sweep cross our planet in a matter of a couple of hours.

The above animation is a sequence of images from NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) taken on March 9, 2016 during a total solar eclipse. The shadow of the Moon is clearly seen traversing the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Much of the visible shadow is the inner part of the Moon’s penumbra, and the darkest inner portion of the shadow, where observers witnessed totality, is the Moon’s umbra. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory Animation by Joshua Stevens.

Eclipse viewers located in the larger penumbra shadow will only witness a partial solar eclipse. As the Moon glides along its orbit, a portion of the Sun, anywhere from a little less than 1% to approximately 99.9% will be blocked. The degree to which the Sun is obscured by the Moon during a partial solar eclipse depends on the observer’s location on the Earth. The closer to the umbra (the darker, inner shadow of the Moon), the more of the Sun that is obscured and the longer the partial eclipse.

A sequence of images of a partial eclipse observed during March, 2015. This same eclipse was visible as a total eclipse to some viewers in northern Europe. Credit: T. Robitaille

If the Moon, Sun, and Earth are in a good position with respect to one another, then a privileged few will witness a truly spectacular eclipse – a total solar eclipse. In order to view this event, one has to be in the umbra shadow of the Moon. As shown in the animation below, the contact point of the Moon’s cone-shaped umbra is extremely small, resulting in a very narrow path of totality.

The above animation shows a correctly scaled view of the Earth-Moon system during the August 21, 2017, eclipse. By the time the umbra reaches Earth it has been reduced in size from

2,200 miles in diameter to only about 100 miles in diameter. The penumbra, however, has widened to roughly twice its original size. For information about this animation, including additional download options, can be found here. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

A number of factors determine how long one will be able to experience a total solar eclipse if in the path of totality. These include:

  • The distance of the Moon from Earth. The closer the Moon is, the larger it will appear in our sky, and the longer it will be able to cover the Sun. If the Moon is near its farthest point from Earth (apogee), totality is not possible because the Moon is too small to completely cover the Sun.
  • The distance of the Earth from the Sun. The farther Earth is from the Sun, the smaller it will appear, and the easier it will be for the Moon to cover the solar disk.
  • The location of the observer in the umbra. If one is near the center of the path of totality, the widest part of the shadow passes over and totality is longer. If one is near the edge of totality, then there may be only a few seconds of total eclipse. Also, if one is near where the umbra shadow just comes into contact with the Earth, totality will be very short due to the shadow racing over the curved surface of the planet.

Once totality is achieved, many splendors can be observed.

What Can Be Observed During a Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse over frozen Norway in March, 2015. Clicking on the image will reveal a high-resolution version, which also shows the planet Venus as a bright spot in the upper left of the image. Credit: Luc Jamet

When the solar disk is obscured, previously invisible features can become apparent. The most spectacular feature is the solar corona – the outer atmosphere of the Sun. Resembling bright, ghostly wisps, the corona consists of gas glowing at a temperature of one- to two-million degrees Celsius. Closer inspection of the corona will reveal structure in this very tenuous gas. The Sun’s magnetic field attracts the hot, charged gas, which in turn outlines the complicated structure of the solar magnetic field.

During totality, one should not try to observe the solar corona with an unfiltered telescope. Though the corona is not bright enough to cause eye damage, the sudden reappearance of the Sun’s disk to the unsuspecting observer can cause irreparable eye damage. In addition, the telescopic views will not be significantly better than naked-eye observations.

Fine detail of the solar corona can sometimes be seen during totality. Notice that the reflection of sunlight from the Earth (earthshine) illuminates the silhouetted Moon enough to be able to see some lunar features. Image Credit: Miloslav Druckmuller / SWNS

Prominences and the Solar Chromosphere

One may also see some hints of red along the silhouette of the Moon, which may be one of two things. Some folks may observe that part of the edge of the Moon looks like it is highlighted by a very thin, deep-red crescent. This glowing red feature is the lower portion of the Sun’s atmosphere, which is known as the chromosphere. Named for its stark coloration, the chromosphere is approximately 10,000 degrees Celsius and is comprised of hydrogen gas emitting its distinctive red color. Others may notice some individual red blobs along the edge of the Moon, some of which may look detached from the lunar limb. These are prominences – large clouds of gas that are held in place by the Sun’s magnetic field. Though the prominences may look small, they can sometimes be tens of times the width of our fair planet!

Numerous prominences appear as bright red “flames” in this view of a total eclipse. Credit: Imelda B. Joson and Edwin L. Aguirre

Baily’s Beads

Bailey’s Beads are named after english astronomer Francis Baily who is credited as the first person to describe them after seeing an annular eclipse in 1836. The beads are due to the irregularities on the Moon’s surface that allow slight portions of the Sun’s surface (the photosphere) to shine through. The beads are typically most visible along the edge of the path of totality but can sometimes be observed in the few seconds before and after totality. NOTE: Direct solar observation without proper eye protection should NOT be done when ANY of the beads are visible.

Tiny visible portions of the Sun’s photosphere appear as Baily’s beads. Due to the observer’s position and the properties of this particular eclipse, the chromosphere is easily visible around most of the Moon’s limb. Credit: Xavier M. Jubier

The Diamond Ring

The Diamond Ring effect occurs during the few seconds before and after totality while an extremely small fraction of the Sun’s photosphere is still visible.

The diamond ring effect. Credit: Babek Tafreshi

Upcoming Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses are visible from somewhere on Earth approximately two times a year. Below are a couple of graphics illustrating the paths of total, partial, and annular solar eclipses through the year 2040. Note that observers around paths of annular and total eclipses can still observe a partial eclipses.

Paths of total, hybrid, and annular solar eclipses from 2001 to 2020. Click on the image to enlarge to full resolution. Paths of total, partial, and annular solar eclipses from 2021 to 2040. Click on the image to enlarge to full resolution.

Safely Viewing a Solar Eclipse

The most important factor to consider when observing any solar eclipse is solar safety. For most, if not all, of a solar eclipse at least a portion of the Sun’s photosphere is visible. Even a small fraction of a percent of the Sun’s photosphere emits enough infrared and ultraviolet light to permanently damage your eyes in a very short period of time. YOU MUST ENSURE THAT THE PROPER TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT ARE USED TO SAFELY VIEW A SOLAR ECLIPSE. CARELESS OBSERVATION CAN RESULT IN EYE DAMAGE AND EVEN BLINDNESS!

During partial eclipse, when even the tiniest fraction of the Sun’s surface is visible, PROPER EYE PROTECTION MUST BE WORN! Below you will find information about different types of equipment and techniques that can be used for safe solar viewing as well as how NOT to view the Sun.

Naked-eye solar observation, even with highly attenuated sunlight such as viewing the Sun through clouds, can cause eye damage. This type of observation would still require proper equipment for safe solar viewing. Original image credit: Mark Runnacles

Solar Glasses

These inexpensive glasses (usually around $1-$4 depending on how many you get) are the most common type of eye protection for viewing solar eclipses or the Sun in general. The lenses are made of a “black polymer” material or a silvery mylar that blocks 100% of ultraviolet and infrared light and only transmits about one-millionth of the Sun’s visible light. You will notice that you cannot see anything except the Sun when the glasses are worn, so it is not advisable to walk around while wearing them. If regular prescription glasses are worn, one can wear these over the normal glasses, though this might require the user to hold the stems on the ears. The main difference between the two types of solar glasses is the color of the Sun – the black polymer glasses give an orange view of the Sun while the mylar glasses make the Sun appear bluish-white.

The Sun as it appears through a mylar filter. The blurred areas on the lower right are out-of-focus tree limbs. Credit: Billy Teets The Sun as it appears through a black polymer filter. The small speckles are sunspots, which will likely be visible during partial eclipse next August. Credit: Billy Teets

One should take care to protect the lenses of the solar glasses. The lens material, while pretty durable, can be damaged if handled roughly or accidentally stepped on. If one holds the glasses up to a bright light, such as a reading lamp, and light penetrates through tiny pinholes or scratches that have developed, the glasses should be discarded.

Eclipse glasses are intended to be used by themselves. YOU MUST NEVER WEAR ECLIPSE GLASSES AND THEN LOOK AT THE SUN WITH AN UNFILTERED TELESCOPE OR BINOCULARS! Sunlight entering an unfiltered telescope or binoculars will be concentrated and literally burn through the solar glasses and then your eyes!

One should NEVER wear solar glasses and look at the Sun through any unfiltered telescope, binocular, or camera. The focused, unfiltered sunlight will literally melt through the glasses and then burn your eyes, causing irreparable damage! Credit: Alex Rockafellar Stacks of sunglasses should NEVER be used to view the Sun even if they are considered 100% UV protective. Credit: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Where Can You Buy Solar Glasses?

Below are a few links to suppliers of solar eclipse glasses:

    – a leading supplier of solar eclipse glasses. The products offered come in many styles. Bulk discount pricing is offered. – a supplier of eclipse glasses made by the Rainbow Symphony company. Bulk discount pricing is offered. The glasses use the black polymer material, which provide an orange image of the Sun.

Shade 14 Welding Glass

If solar glasses are unavailable, a shade 14 or darker (higher number) welding glass is also suitable for solar viewing. These welding glasses also filter the UV and IR light and transmit only a minute amount of visible light. Typical welding glass will make the Sun appear green. The main drawback of the welding glass is that if left unmounted, they are prone to breaking if dropped.

A solar eclipse as seen through a #14 welding glass. Composite photo by Allen Seltzer

There are a couple of methods of observing the Sun that you must NEVER USE: viewing through smoked glass or exposed film. Both of these materials will not protect your eyes against the harmful ultraviolet and infrared light, causing permanent eye damage!

Smoked glass (top image) and exposed X-ray or camera film (bottom image) do NOT protect against the intense ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light that you are exposed to when looking directly at the Sun. These materials should NEVER be used to view the Sun. Credits: Wikipedia (top) Zulkifli/EPA (bottom)

Telescope, Binocular, & Camera Solar Filters

A glass solar filter mounted to the front of a telescope. Credit: Telescopemart.com

Though many experienced solar eclipse viewers will tell you that the best way to witness an eclipse is just with solar glasses, some folks like to get a more close-up view of the action (until totality). Nowadays, numerous telescope, camera, and optics manufacturers produce solar filters made to fit on the ends of telescopes, binoculars, and cameras. These filters, as all should, filter the sunlight to safe levels before it enters the observing aid or your eye. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND IS TO GET A FILTER MADE FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT – IMPROPERLY FIT FILTERS CAN LET IN UNFILTERED SUNLIGHT OR EVEN FALL OFF DURING OBSERVATION! A filter should have a snug fit on the end of the telescope, camera, or binocular – loose filters should be avoided or securely fastened so that there is no way they can accidentally fall off during viewing.

Solar filters for cameras and other observing aids come in two main forms – glass filters and mylar filters. Glass filters tend to be more expensive because of the manufacturing process but are specially made to fit most commercially made telescopes, binoculars, and even cameras. Like the black polymer solar glasses they typically give an orange view of the Sun.

Mylar filters tend to be the cheaper (but still safe) alternative. The material can be made into large rolls (you can even buy rolls to make your own sets of solar glasses, telescope filters, etc.) and easily cut to produce numerous filters. The main requirement after that is to fasten the material in a sturdy support that will securely mount to the telescope or other observing aid.

A mylar filter mounted to a small telescope. Credit: Orion Telescopes & Binoculars

Solar Filters for Your Equipment

Baader AstroSolar Safety Film – Baader AstroSolar Safety Film sheets are available from Astro-physics.com. A couple of sizes are available. Note that if you are going to be using the film to a make a filter that your eye will look through (even if mounted on a telescope or binoculars) choose the “visual” film, NOT the photography film.

Solar Filter Tutorial – This site offers step-by-step directions on how to make a variety of solar filter cells for telescopes and binoculars. Also contains downloadable PDFs.

Orion Solar Filters – The Orion telescope company is a leader in observing equipment and carries an assortment of glass and mylar solar filters for a variety of products.

One type of filter you should NEVER USE is an eyepiece solar filter. Eyepiece solar filters are often advertised as being a cheap way to view the Sun, which can sound very appealing. These filters literally screw onto the bottom of a telescope eyepiece and are intended to filter the incoming sunlight just before it enters the eyepiece. The issue is that the unfiltered sunlight collected by the telescope optics is focused onto the filter, and the intense heating of the filter that results will cause the filter to crack, letting through extremely high amounts of highly concentrated infrared, optical, and ultraviolet light. The best practice to follow when one finds an eyepiece solar filter is to TRASH IT!

After unfiltered sunlight is focused onto an eyepiece solar filter, the intense heat will cause the filter to crack and let through unfiltered sunlight. Credit: Stephen Tonkin

Eclipse Projection

It is also possible to use a telescope without a solar filter to view the eclipse however, one must be careful to ensure that no passers-by, especially children, are allowed near the eyepiece of an unfiltered telescope, and one might risk damage to his/her telescope if care is not taken. The method alluded to is a simple projection method. An unfiltered telescope is aimed at the Sun, and the resulting image is projected onto a screen mounted near the eyepiece. There are a few variations of this method, which are discussed below. NOTE: Damage to the telescope may result from this method. Unfiltered sunlight that is accidentally focused onto the structure of the telescope (usually due to lack of careful tracking) can damage/destroy parts of the telescope. In addition, eyepieces used in the projection method can crack under the thermal stress. If one intends to use the projection method, it is recommended that an inexpensive or already damaged eyepiece be used.

The simple rear projection method just focuses the image of the Sun onto some sort of flat (usually white) surface that is mounted near the eyepiece. It is not recommended that one hold the projection screen – accidentally moving the screen out away from the focal point might allow unfiltered light to enter an observer’s eyes.

Projection of a solar eclipse using an unfiltered telescope. Credit: Angus Self

A better method is to create a projection screen assembly that encloses the eyepiece, preventing any unfiltered light from accidentally entering unprotected eyes. Several popular designs have come about, including the “Sun Gun” and “Sun Funnel.” These assemblies consist of a cylindric or conic support that attach to an eyepiece and hold a rear-projection screen at the other end, which completely encloses the unfiltered sunlight. One of the advantages of image projection is that numerous people can view simultaneously.

A sun funnel projector attached to a small portable telescope (red). Credit: 10minuteastronomy.com

How to Build a Sun Funnel

Building a Sun Funnel – A downloadable PDF tutorial with detailed step-by-step instructions on how to build a Sun Funnel projector for your telescope. Also includes details such as how to choose the appropriate eyepiece for your particular telescope.

Pinhole Projection

Finally, if you don’t want to spend the money for a solar filter or the inexpensive welding glasses and solar glasses are not available, then all is not lost! You can simply use materials found around the house to project the image of the partial eclipse. Pinhole projection is one of the easiest methods to observe a solar eclipse – the main drawback is that you typically don’t get a very large, sharp image. You can construct a pinhole viewer (a box with a very small opening at one end) or just use objects that already have a small hole. NOTE: The pinhole is used for projection onto a surface – DO NOT LOOK THROUGH THE PINHOLE!

Concept of projecting an eclipse via the pinhole method. Credit: Timeanddate.com Pinhole projection of a solar eclipse using a colander. Credit: Alice Pintus

Nature even provides a means to view the eclipse. The numerous small gaps between the leaves of trees and even the holes in the leaves themselves act as small pinhole projectors:

Tree leaf pinhole projection of a solar eclipse: Credit: Ed Morana

What About Clouds?

What happens if the total eclipse is clouded out? Even if clouds intervene during totality, disappointed observers will still be able to experience the umbra of the Moon. During totality, the amount of sunlight is diminished greatly, and clouded-out viewers will still be able to experience this darkness in the middle of the day.

The images above show portions of Shanghai before totality (top) and during totality (bottom) of the July 2009 total solar eclipse. Credit: REUTERS/Aly Song

The August 21st, 2017 Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, North America enjoyed a major treat. Starting on the western seaboard the shadow of the Moon swept across the continent and blocked out at least a portion of the Sun for North Americans, which was in and of itself a pretty unique spectacle however, a swath of the United States was also in the path of totality and had the opportunity to see the Sun completely blocked for up to 2 minutes and 42 seconds – a total solar eclipse. Nashville, Tennessee was the largest city in the path of totality.

The solar eclipse of August 21st, 2017 was the first solar eclipse to cross the entire continental United States in over a century. The entire continental U.S. had the opportunity to view at least a partial solar eclipse, and people within a narrow (

100 mile wide) path stretching from seaboard to seaboard had the privilege of witnessing a total solar eclipse.

The above animation shows the path of the Moon’s shadow for August 21, 2017. The dark black center is the Moon’s umbra and the outer, lighter shaded areas are within the Moon’s penumbra – the darker the shading, the more of the Sun that is blocked. Note how the Earth’s curvature changes the apparent shape of the umbra. Information about this animation, including additional download options and animations, can be found here. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

(Top Image) A map of the continental US showing the path of totality as well as the magnitude of partial eclipse for the rest of the country. The magnitude of the eclipse is the percentage of the Sun’s surface that is obscured (e.g., 0.9 magnitude = 90% obscured). (Bottom Image) A close-up view of the path of totality for Tennessee. The violet contours mark the differing lengths of totality. At the center of the path of totality the duration of total eclipse is greatest (approximately 2 minutes, 42 seconds). Image credits: Michael Zeiler, www.GreatAmericanEclipse.com

There are several key times for the eclipse for those located in Nashville, Tennessee:

  • Approximately 11:58 a.m. CDT – First Contact. The Moon begins to move in front of the Sun (partial eclipse begins).
  • Approximately 1:28 p.m. CDT – Totality. For nearly two minutes the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon (total eclipse begins).
  • Approximately 2:54 p.m. CDT – Fourth Contact. The last portion of the Moon moves out from in front of the Sun (partial eclipse ends).

More information about the contact points and what you can expect to see during each of them can be found that the Exploratorium’s Solar Eclipse Page.

This eclipse offered some spectators (especially a bit north of Nashville) who were directly in the center of the path of totality up to 2 minutes and 42 seconds of dusk-like darkness. During this period, numerous bright stars were visible, including some well known constellations and asterisms like Orion, Gemini, and the Big Dipper. The planets Jupiter and Venus were easily spotted halfway up in the eastern and western skies, respectively, while fainter Mars and Mercury will be on either side of the eclipsed Sun.

A simulated view of the Nashville sky during totality (approximately 1:29p.m. CDT). Four planets and numerous stars will be visible to the unaided eye while the Sun is completely obscured. Credit: Billy Teets

Additional Information About the August 2017 Solar Eclipse

There are now numerous websites devoted to the August 2017 solar eclipse. These pages contain information about eclipses, specifics about the August 2017 eclipse including maps, timings, etc.

Vanderbilt University’s Eclipse Website – Learn about what Vanderbilt University is doing in celebration of the total solar eclipse. On eclipse day, this page will also include a live stream link from a camera mounted on a high-altitude weather ballon that will be released from Vanderbilt University.

NASA’s eclipse website – also contains information about past and future eclipses of all types.

Middle Tennessee State University’s Eclipse Page – includes information about activities being held at the MTSU campus.

Interactive Google Map for Totality – an interactive Google map that shows the path of totality and also calculates the start and stop times of the partial and total eclipse phases as well as the duration of totality. Once you find your area of interest and zoom in, click on the location to view the information window.

Xavier Jubier’s Interactive Google Map for the 2017 Solar Eclipse – an interactive Google map that shows the path of totality and also calculates the start and stop times of the partial and total eclipse phases as well as the duration of totality. Once you find your area of interest and zoom in, click on the location to view the information window. This map also allows you to type in an address to find the above information.

We offer 2 pages of 2017 eclipse information (formatted to 11名) which you may print out for your own use or to share with your group: 2017 Eclipse GENERAL handout PDF 2017 Eclipse SAFETY handout PDF

Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

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Due to the volume of public and private events, visits to Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory are available by appointment only. Public event dates and times are listed on our calendar, and we are also available for school field trips or community tours with reservations. Before planning a visit, please contact us.