Have you heard the news about the solar eclipse happening in August?
Since the Earth and moon are constantly moving around the sun, it’s not that uncommon for the moon to pass between the Earth and sun, blocking out a portion of the light received on Earth. In fact, on average, at least two eclipses happen each year. So what’s so special about the eclipse happening on August 21, 2017?
First of all, as long as the weather cooperates, EVERYONE in North America will be able to see it. And it’s not just a partial eclipse either. This is a TOTAL eclipse of the sun. The path of totality will roll across the entire U.S., through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina.
The last time any part of the contiguous U.S. saw a total solar eclipse was in 1979. Then, only five states experienced totality.
In Central Florida 88% of the sun will be covered at 2:51 PM. The eclipse will begin at 1:19 PM, blocking a small corner of the sun. The maximum coverage happens at 2:51 with the eclipse ending at 4:14. So for nearly 3 hours, the sun will be partially to mostly blocked in the middle of the afternoon in Orlando.
If you live in another city, type in your location at the link below to see your start and end time and how much of the sun will be blocked for you:
While you’re there, be sure to watch the video animation of how the eclipse will look. Remember to never look directly into the sun. Special glasses allow safe observation of the eclipse. According to NASA, only 5 companies manufacture eclipse glasses that meet specific standards to keep your eyes safe. Before purchasing, check your glasses for these criteria:
- Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
- Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
- Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
- Not use homemade filters or be substituted for with ordinary sunglasses — not even very dark ones — because they are not safe for looking directly at the sun
For more information about how to view the 2017 solar eclipse safely, check out this link from NASA:
So what about the weather? Yes, it can block your view. If it’s a totally cloudy day, you won’t be able to see the sun, or the eclipse. The temperature may drop a few degrees since the sun is covered for awhile, but because of the maximum eclipse’s brevity, don’t expect it to drop much. The sky will darken and it will feel more like dusk than mid-afternoon in Orlando. Fingers crossed that we’ll have a “typical” August day with morning sun, and no storms until late afternoon. That will increase our chances of enjoying this historical event in Central Florida.
The next total solar eclipse won’t pass across the U.S. again until 2024, so you’ll have to wait another 7 years after this one. And if you make it to 2045, the next total solar eclipse to impact the U.S. that year will pass right over Orlando on August 12. Who is already adding it to their calendar? I’ll likely be watching from the nursing home, and telling my grandchildren how I watched the “Great American Eclipse” in 2017.