PISCATAWAY, NJ — The first solar eclipse to sweep across the US in almost one hundred years happens on Monday, August 21.
The event has been called the great American total solar eclipse.
“Where it would be most dramatic is this narrow 70-mile wide path from Oregon down to South Carolina, where the sun will go completely dark, and it will become twilight,” says Carlton Pryor, a professor in the department of astronomy at Rutgers University. “The temperature will drop to sort of 10 degrees, animals will start to react like the end of the day, birds will quiet, plants’ daytime blooms may start to close. So they’re quite dramatic effects.”
According to Professor Pryor, fourteen states are on the path of total solar eclipse. It is when the moon will completely obscure the sun for about 2 and half minutes. All fifty states will experience partial solar eclipse.
“Solar eclipses happen somewhere around the earth roughly every 18 months. But a total solar eclipse on a particular spot of the earth only happens, on average every, 3 to 4 hundred years.”
A partial eclipse will also be visible across Canada, Mexico, Central America and northwestern Europe.
Besides hundreds of viewing events across the country, NASA will also put up a live video stream of the grand event.
The eclipse begins in Oregon around 9 am Pacific daylight time, and ends along South Carolina around 4 pm eastern daylight time.
One thing to remember, Pryor says, is to avoid looking at the sun. And if you did not get a chance to get one of those solar glasses, you can improvise with plates, anything with lots of pinholes or small holes that light can shine through.
If you wish to witness this celestial event, you don’t have to wait long. The next total solar eclipse is in 2024, entering Texas through Mexico and going up to the Northeast.