A dark shadow is about to be cast over the continental United States for the first time in four decades, and it promises to be an incredible event.
Something incredible is about to happen in the United States, something that has been described as a once in a lifetime event, even if it is happening against just seven years later. For the first time in four decades, a total solar eclipse will pass over the continental United States on Aug. 21, with a “band of totality” stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.
On that day, the sun, moon, and Earth will line up to turn the day into night for several minutes for those in the 70-mile wide path, and even hundreds of miles away the sun will be 80 to 90 percent obscured. It will be the most heavilyl viewed and studies total solar eclipse ever.
All sorts of “Eclipse Fests” are springing up across the U.S., particularly in the band of totality. Millions are expected to travel to cities that fall within its path. Just about everyone is expected to stop what they’re doing and gaze to the sky — although hopefully not directly at the sun, because that would be dangerous.
“For most viewers, the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse will last less than two and half minutes,” NASA said in a statement on their activities during the eclipse. “But for one team of NASA-funded scientists, the eclipse will last over seven minutes. Their secret? Following the shadow of the Moon in two retrofitted WB-57F jet planes.
“Amir Caspi of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and his team will use two of NASA’s WB-57F research jets to chase the darkness across America on Aug. 21. Taking observations from twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the planes, Caspi will capture the clearest images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury, revealing how temperature varies across the planet’s surface.”