Rare Total Solar Eclipse Will Occur This Year
A total solar eclipse is a rare sight to see, but on Aug. 21, 2017, one will be visible from the United States for the first time in four decades. The last total solar eclipse in the United States occurred on Feb. 26, 1979.
Although eclipses happen pretty often (two to five times per year), most are partial eclipses. Full solar eclipses only happen about every year and a half, and most occur over the ocean or in less inhabited areas.
According to space.com, the eclipse will occur "along a stretch of land about 70 miles" from Oregon to South Carolina, through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Only about 12 million people live in the "narrow band," but 220 million people are only a day's drive away. For those in the south Georgia area, the nearest locations where the total eclipse could be best experienced would be the areas between Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, South Carolina, each of which are about five to six hours away. According to eclipse2017.org, the eclipse will begin in Greenville at around 2:38 pm and will reach Charleston by around 2:45 pm.
According to eclipse expert Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College in Massachusetts, it might be worth the drive: "It's a tremendous opportunity...to see the universe change around you."
If you are planning on travelling to see the eclipse, be sure to use proper eye protection. Visit space.com for information on proper eye protection.
Here's a video from space.com which gives more information on the total solar eclipse, which will occur over North America on August 21, 2017: