But the USA mainland hasn't seen a total solar eclipse since 1979, when it swooped across Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, then into Canada. Those living in one of the 14 states the spectacle will pass over are in for a treat: the moon will come between the sun and the earth, leaving a ring of light around its surface. Our Eclipse Megamovie Photo Team has been busy uploading the photographs they took of the total solar eclipse and our algorithms are creating the continuous view of the eclipse as it crossed the US.
At 2:44 p.m. today, the Triangle will experience the height of a partial eclipse, with up to 93 percent of the sun blocked- some might not even notice it's happening. The next annular solar eclipse (where the moon passes between Earth and the sun but doesn't completely cover its disk) in the continental U.S. will happen on October 14, 2023, viewable from Northern California to Florida. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and its tenuous atmosphere - the corona. The moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but the sun's distance from us is 400 times that of the Earth to the Moon, so they appear to be the same size in our sky.
The last time an eclipse travelled across the U.S. was in 1918 and the last time anyone in the United States witnessed a total solar eclipse was nearly 40 years ago, on February 26, 1979.
The biggest astronomical event of 2017 happens today: a partial eclipse.
Some Zimbabweans and Americans living in South Carolina, USA, say they are anxiously waiting for a total solar eclipse Monday as they have purchased the necessary sunglasses and moved to areas where there will be total darkness. Klaus Nomi's "Total Eclipse", unfortunately, is not on Spotify, but you can watch his classic performance from Urgh! Here in MI, we'll see a partial eclipse that will get underway this afternoon.
Totality is expected to last the longest near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, wherein it will last for a good 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
A pinhole projector is another safe way of watching the eclipse, and you can make one yourself with two thin pieces of cardboard (or paper plates).
For a 360-degree view of the eclipse, check out NASA's Facebook page.