When the moon crosses directly between the Earth and the sun's rays on Monday afternoon, casting a stretch of the United States into night-like darkness for a few fleeting minutes, it will be the 12th time Kelly Beatty has seen such an event. While it would be possible to have solar eclipses on other planets, the likelihood that another planet in our solar system would have a moon of the ideal size, shape and orbit to produce a total solar eclipse is small, she said. It's in focus and surrounded by the dark sky.
Which means if you're thwarted by fate - or even apathy - you'll be in the "path of partial-totality". Here, the moon will appear to cover just 80 percent of the sun.
Writing for Forbes, astrophysicist and author Ethan Siegel offered his own prediction that the world's last total solar eclipse will come 570 million years from now. If you're in OR, for example, the eclipse will run from about 9 a.m.to noon local time, with totality taking place from 10:19 a.m.to 10:21 a.m. This will be the first eclipse to cross the entire continental United States in nearly a century.
For a little over four hours on Monday, August 21, a shadow will fall across a wide swath of North America. You can see more details here, courtesy of the American Astronomical Society.
"I will never see a total eclipse again because I will not live long enough", West said.
Because of its elliptical orbit, the moon sometimes is too far away from the Earth to block out the sun completely during some total eclipses.
But to be in the path is totally worth it to Marchand.
An eclipse happens as the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun as seen from our location on the surface of the earth.
An eclipse is a cosmic billiard shot - the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up to reveal the Sun's atmosphere, it's corona.
Make sure you don't spend the entire time staring at the sun through your eclipse glasses, especially if you're in the band of totality. But that average fails to convey the vast differences in timeframe. And it is important in that case to be ready to don protective filtered eyeglasses or look away before that period of totality ends.
For those that want the total eclipse experience for the longest amount of time, you'll need to journey to the town of Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be fully shrouded for two minutes and 40 seconds. "It has been fun sharing the facts of the eclipse". To get selected, Henderson developed a lesson plan to help students understand the eclipse, one she applied at a summer camp for students.
A total solar eclipse - only visible from a small area on Earth. On the ground, birds dive-bombed snowbanks and squirrels scrambled around like mad.
"I know I always taught a special lesson whenever there was a solar or lunar eclipse", recently retired high school science teacher Terry Laborde of Hessmer said. "Also, to experience it with a crowd of people, it's a very social experience", Higdon said.
Only during totality is it safe to take off eclipse glasses and view with binoculars and telescopes.
A member of the Fort Worth Astronomical Society, Marchand said he and several other society members plan to fearless what various sources say they expect to be a traffic nightmare to visit the path of totality.
Many people share Cabanela's desire. It will begin at about 11:50 a.m., reach its maximum coverage just after 1:20 p.m. and be finished by 2:50 p.m.
It has been named the Great American Eclipse because it can only be seen in the US. "Our population is 76,000, and we will easily double that and probably triple or quadruple that amount".
Unfortunately, there are a number of counterfeit solar eclipse glasses on the market, and some that are compliant skipped seeking certification in a rush to get their product to the market. Law enforcement and other emergency responders will be on alert. To get to the closest point of totality from Montgomery would require driving more than 200 miles northeast - well out of the state of Alabama. OR is calling out the National Guard to help with traffic control.
On Monday, it goes from OR to SC. North Carolina tells drivers to get paper maps in case the Global Positioning System navigators on their phones stop working should cell phone networks be overwhelmed. Depending on the weather, we could wind up anywhere from eastern Missouri to western Nebraska.