Something that hasn’t happened in the United States in 99 years happens in just one month. One August 21, a solar eclipse will occur across the entire Lower 48 states, including here in Ohio and Pennsylvania. While our area will not have a TOTAL eclipse, it’ll still be awesome.
WHAT IS IT:
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, covering it completely. The fact that total solar eclipses occur at all is a pretty amazing bit of cosmic luck. The distance of the Moon from the Earth is JUST right to make the Moon appear the same size in our sky as the much larger and much farther away Sun.
IS IT RARE?: A total solar eclipse is in and of itself is not rare at all (occurring every 18 months or so), but since the Earth is 70% covered by water, most solar eclipses go unseen by most humans.
WHAT TIME WILL IT HAPPEN?: In our area, the Moon will begin sliding across the Sun’s disk around 1:09pm and the Sun will become about 80% covered by 2:33pm. The eclipse will end at about 3:50pm.
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE HERE?:
A true total eclipse will not occur at our latitude but the Sun will be about 80% covered at the peak of the eclipse. Still awesome. The temperature may drop a handful of degrees and birds may stop singing. Other animals may behave strangely.
WHERE WILL “TOTALITY” OCCUR?: The path of the total eclipse will go from northwest Oregon southeast to around Charleston, South Carolina. In this swath, totality will occur for 2-2.5 minutes.
HOW TO WATCH: There will be plenty of streams of it on the Internet of course, but to observe it “in real life” you’ll need special glasses as looking at the Sun is never a good idea. Sunglasses are not good enough. Glasses that meet international standards of safety are available on Amazon and other sites.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER???
While we are hoping for a clear day, even if it is cloudy, the eclipse will still be VERY noticeable as it will get much darker outside.
-Most hotels in the path of totality have been booked for months or years even.
-Many predict that it will be one of the worst traffic days in US history as millions flock into the path of totality.
MUCH more on the eclipse in the coming weeks here on the blog, on my social media and on 21 News. It’ll be awesome!