Monday, August 21st is an exciting day because for the first time in a LONG time, all of USA will be treated to the beauty of the Total Solar Eclipse - it is one of the most awe-inspiring sights and it is happening for the first time ever since 1918!!!
So what is a Total Solar Eclipse? NASA does a great job in explaining it (I mean, duh!) and you can find further reference right here. To sum it up, it essentially occurs when Moon passes in-between the Earth and the Sun and all three of the heavenly bodies form a straight line. For the fleeting moment (fleeting in space's sense) when the Moon comes in front of the Sun and covers it, those in the shadow of the Moon will see the Sun go completely dark (this is the path of totality)... While writing this I can only imagine what our ancestors must have felt like when they saw a Total Solar Eclipse!
Anyway, Verge has this wonderful & elaborate animation/video which goes in even more details. Definitely do check it out.
For my take on what exactly happens in a Total Solar Eclipse please see below:
Okay... so now that you are an Eclipse savant, check out VOX to find out what time you need to be out & about to see the Solar eclipse - they have a very cool animation where you can add your zip code & it will show you the peak time & crescent shape. Check it out here
For instance, for people living in NYC, you will have 70% of the Sun blocked with the peak of the eclipse at 2:44 PM EDT while Charlestonians (I think that's a word) will see the Complete Total Solar eclipse (yep, 100% of Sun covered) at around 2:47 PM EDT!
For those on the West side, LA will have 60% of the Sun blocked with peak at 10:21 AM PDT (so keep those party pants at home on Sunday night!) while Portland will see the Total freakin' Solar Eclipse at around the same time 10:18 AM PDT! Not sure if you can tell but I am way too excited for this!
Lastly, enjoy the eclipse fully without going blind, PLEASE DO NOT look at the Sun with your naked eyes, you will damage your eyes ~permanently! Read this traumatic piece by NASA to get your bearings straight. Do buy dedicated eclipse glasses made of Mylar film. There are a lot of fake ones out there so make sure they are CE approved and display CE kite mark.
Hope you found this blog helpful. We would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!
Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog, I am fairly certain you are into Astronomy as well! I am an avid Astronomy buff myself and can spot my kin quickly ;-) Anyway, there is an interesting experience of Star gazing in Greece with an Astronomer. If you are in Greece, make sure to check it out!