Today, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun.
Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. In a total eclipse, the Sun is fully obscured by the moon.
Today, people across the United States will see the sun disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop while revealing massive streams of light streaking through the sky around the moons’s silhouette. Today, America falls under the path of a total solar eclipse.
This so-called Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken the skies all the way from Oregon to the Carolinas, along a swath of land about 70 miles wide. People in the way of this “path of totality”, are in for an unforgettable experience.
A solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (“occults”) the Sun. This can happen only at new moon when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy.
This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path, will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.
Know that it is never safe to look directly at a total or partial eclipse without special eclipse glasses or filters — and most of the country will see only a partial eclipse. The risk of injury to the eye’s retina is surprisingly even greater if you look at a partial eclipse without protection, through a telescope or binoculars. You can also make a pinhole box if you’re feeling industrious.