August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

 

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By Wolfgang Strickling-Eclipse 2017 Android App, Geodata from OpenStreetMap https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46363871

For those that don’t want to journey to foreign lands to see a Total Solar Eclipse, but want to experience one, then this is your year.  The new moon will block out the sun and you can see it if you are in the right location.  From Oregon to South Carolina a 70 mile path of totality will arc across the continent; if you are not in the full shadow you will still see a partial solar eclipse anywhere in the lower 48 (75% obscured in Las Vegas).

From our perspective the moon will first “touch” the sun ~1 hr 15 min before totality, and then similarly, the shadow of the moon will be off the moon ~1 hr 15 min after totality; this is where direct viewing is not good- get some eclipse glasses or other means.  The totality will last from 2 min to 2 min 41 sec along the center of the path.  During the total solar eclipse the moon will block the entirety of the sun allowing the corona to become safely visible to the naked eye; this is the rare experience that many travel around the world to see.  The temperature will drop about 20 degrees F.eclipsesvalbard_santikunaporn_2048

 

Here are several websites with valuable information:

There are several events planned at communities and areas along the path of totality.  Which is great and hopefully people can come together and experience this event.  I was a little concerned for the stationary events, especially the ones that are charging fees.  The period of totality will be less than 2 minutes and 41 seconds, any rogue cloud/partly cloudy skies could obscure the event -especially if you are stationary. I plan to be as mobile as I can; checking weather and hoping to find some clear skies.  There is US-26 in eastern Wyoming that follows along the path for almost half the state, Riverton to Torrington.

My other plan is to have other activities for the family to do the days before or after the event.  Make it a camping trip, visit museums, go to Astrocon, Carhenge, Nashville, visit friends/family nearby or along the way, find something to make the trip worthwhile in the event that you miss the 2 minutes of the total eclipse.

Just be aware if a large group of the US decides to occupy a 70 mile strip of land for a short time on that Monday, there may be a desolate feeling in other areas of the country.  Maybe we could try Hands Across America again…

 

 

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