For the first time in 99 years, all of North America will be witnessing a total solar eclipse in which the moon will pass directly in front of the sun. Up to 14 states will be experiencing a complete blackout for a brief period in the day and there are several details that you will want to know before this once-in-a-lifetime event.
The phenomenon is being dubbed the Great American Eclipse and will occur when the sun, moon, and Earth are perfectly aligned in a spectacle that can be viewed from the West Coast to the East Coast.
Even though the sun is 400 times the size of the moon in diameter, it lies 400 times further away from Earth. Because of this, when the moon is in perfect alignment with the sun, it will cause a complete blackout for certain areas on the Earth's surface. Keep scrolling to learn more about when and where to watch the eclipse.
As for when the eclipse happens, there are specific times and details for partial and full blackouts across the US. Keep scrolling to learn more about when and where to watch the eclipse.
Who Can See the Eclipse?
While it won't be a total solar eclipse in all areas of the world, at least a partial eclipse will be seen by everyone from North America, South America, Africa, and Europe.
As for 14 states throughout the U.S., there will be a total solar eclipse that will bring forth over two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day.
There are more than 12 million Americans that live inside the path of totality, in which the total solar eclipse will be seen. However, half of the entire nation lives within 400 miles of the path. Millions are expected to travel to major cities along the path.
For those living in places like San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles, California, the moon will be blocking around 60 percent to 70 percent of the sun, according to Business Insider.prevnext
Where's the Best Place to Watch the Eclipse?
Even though the path of totality crosses the entire U.S., it is a relatively thin line that is only about 70 miles wide.
The eclipse will first be seen in Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 PT, with total darkness beginning at 10:16 PT.
Over the course of the day, the eclipse will be seen through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and the end in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:28 p.m. ET.
The longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois. The moon will be completely covering the sun for two minutes and 40 seconds.
The lunar shadow will leave the U.S. at 4:09 ET, according to Telegraph.prevnext
What Time Will the Eclipse Hit Major Cities?
Here are the times that the solar eclipse will be hitting major cities along the path of totality:
- Salem, Oregon – Partial: 9:05 am PT | Full: 10:18 am PT
- Idaho Falls, Idaho – Partial: 10:15 am MT | Full 11:33 am MT
- Casper, Wyoming – Partial: 10:22 am MT | Full: 11:43 am MT
- Lincoln, Nebraska – Partial: 11:37 am CT | Full: 1:03 pm CT
- Sabetha, Kansas – Partial: 11:38 am CT | Full: 1:05 pm CT
- Jefferson City, Missouri – Partial: 11:46 am CT | Full: 1:14 pm CT
- Carbondale, Illinois – Partial: 11:52 am CT | Full: 1:21 pm CT
- Hopkinsville, Kentucky – Partial: 11:56 am CT | Full: 1:25 pm CT
- Nashville, Tennessee – Partial: 11:58 am CT | Full: 1:28 pm Ct
- Talulah Falls, Georgia – Partial: 1:07 pm ET | Full: 2:37 pm ET
- Colombia, South Carolina – Partial: 1:13 pm ET | Full: 2:43 pm ET
- Charleston, South Carolina – Partial: 1:16 pm ET | Full: 2:47 pm ET
While the eclipse can be seen the best from these major cities, there still is a huge risk in looking at the celestial spectacle. Learn how the eclipse can damage your eyesight below.prevnext
Can Looking at the Eclipse Damage Your Eyesight?
The eclipse is something that you won't want to miss, but there are serious health concerns about watching the phenomenon. Looking up at the sun for just a matter of seconds can have lasting effects on your vision.
“Depending on the sky conditions, it only takes about a minute and a half for your eyes to be permanently damaged, and the damage is cumulative, meaning you don’t have to stare at the sun without looking away for it to be harmful — you may just be taking quick glances, but it’s still damaging your eye," an optometrist said while speaking with the Washington Post.
A clinical associate professor at the Indiana University School of Optometry namedDr. Todd Peabody explains that wearing sunglasses might actually make the damage to their eyes worse.0comments
"Sunglasses are particularly dangerous because when you wear sunglasses, it limits the amount of light that gets into your eye," Peabody said. "It causes your pupil to dilate, which allows more radiation to get in. Sunglasses might actually make (damage) worse."
Your eyes aren't the only thing that can be damaged in the eclipse. Learn more about how to safely watch the total solar eclipse here.prev