The USA has eclipse fever! No, I’m not talking about one of those Twilight books. I’m talking about that thing when the moon comes between the earth and the sun, you know, like your best friend when you’re talking to that cute man or woman at a party. On August 21st, the USA is going to witness the first coast-to-coast eclipse in almost 100 years. It’s also the first total eclipse visible in any part of the USA in nearly 40 years.
Every part of the country will see the eclipse in one degree or other. But what they call the “Path of Totality”, the line in which the total eclipse can be seen, will run diagonally from Northern Oregon to the middle of South Carolina. Some major cities along the path are Idaho Falls, Kansas City, St. Louis and Nashville… to name a few.
It is also predicted that millions of people will travel to areas along the Path of Totality. I know I have friends planning road trips. Are you?
If you do not plan to travel and reside outside the Path of Totality (which would be a great name for a death or speed metal band), there should still be some pretty good views all over the country. At the least, every part of the country will see at least a 50% solar eclipse (Los Angeles, most of Texas, New England and NYC fall into that). That’s not to shabby. Another chunk gets a 75% view (San Francisco, Chicago, Florida).
The eclipse kick off time varies depending on location and time zone. But it will start in the morning all over the country. The duration will be nearly three hours, longer or shorter depending on how close you are to the Path of Totality.
Now, I don’t have to tell you not to look directly at the eclipse, do I? We all know not to stare into the sun, right? There are plenty of websites that will show you how to create a pinhole projector. I’m sure there’ll be a run on eclipse glasses along the Path of Totality. I’d say the best way to view it is using welder goggles with a 14 or higher rating. If in doubt, don’t risk it!
Since we won’t even get anything close to this one until 2024, why not commemorate it with a t-shirt? I’ve hunted some specifically for this date, eclipses in general, and a few funny ones that will have other eclipse watchers look twice!
And here’s hoping it’s not a cloudy day where you choose to view it…