One of the biggest events of Summer 2017 will be the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 that will be visible in 14 US states (including NORTH CAROLINA, YAY!) In North Carolina, only the westernmost tip will see it as a total eclipse like the one shown here, but it will be a pretty impressive partial eclipse for much of North Carolina, including the Research Triangle area.
Here is Wikipedia’s map of the pathway for being able to view the total eclipse:
There are also maps of the path through 14 individual states on the NASA website.
However, the University of California-Berkeley, with funding from Google, has created a FREE cool tool that people in the United States can use to preview what the eclipse will look like in their location. It is called the Eclipse Simulator, and it is available here. So, for example, this is what the Simulator says it will look like in Cary, NC at the height of the eclipse at 2:44 PM on August 21:
Isn’t that fantastic? I’m really looking forward to seeing it in person on August 21, especially since astronomers says there won’t be another total solar eclipse in the US until April 2024.
UC Berkeley and Google are also running a wonderful crowdsourcing/citizen science project to record the entire eclipse, which is explained below in a UC Berkeley press release:
The Eclipse Megamovie Project is seeking more than a thousand amateur astronomers and avid photographers to record the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse and upload their photos to be stitched together into a movie documenting the path of totality from landfall in Oregon until the moon’s shadow slips over the Atlantic Ocean off South Carolina.
While no one on the ground will see the total eclipse for more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds, depending on how close they are to the center of the path of totality, the images collected by the Megamovie’s volunteer team will be turned into a movie that includes images from the 90 minutes it will take the moon’s shadow to cross the U.S. Even an airplane flying along the path of totality can only capture at most four to five minutes of the total eclipse, since the moon’s shadow moves along the ground at up to 1,500 miles per hour. The last time anyone tried to stitch together eclipse images like this may have been in the 1800s via hand-drawn sketches, without the benefit of today’s modern digital technology.
You can find more about that project, including how to participate, on the project website.
So, are you lucky enough to live in one of the total eclipse states: Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina? My youngest brother’s family, who live in Pennsylvania, are planning to fly out to Wyoming to see it.
Where will you be on August 21st?