4 Things to Know About the Total Solar Eclipse
When was the last time a Monday was this popular? This August 21, a total solar eclipse will take place and, from the way media (and friends, family and cashiers at the grocery store) have been talking, it seems the whole world will be watching. You probably have a lot of questions circling the celestial show such as, When will Krispy Kreme be unveiling their limited edition eclipse donuts? and, Where can I see Bonnie Tyler belting out “Total Eclipse of The Heart” like it’s 1983? There’s a few other factors concerning the total solar eclipse that we should address first however…
1. What’s all the fuss about?
Maybe it’s been longer than you’d like to admit since you were last in a science class, so just to give a refresher: a total solar eclipse is when the moon crosses between the sun and Earth and blocks out the sunlight from hitting our dear planet. Unlike the more common lunar eclipse (when the Earth passes between the moon and sun, blocking sunlight from the moon), a total eclipse such as Monday’s will on average happen where you live once in every 375 years. The “totality” will in fact only be visible in select U.S., beginning in the western state of Oregon and stretching to South Carolina. In fact, it’s already gained a nickname that sounds like it was plucked right from your grandparents’ book of phrases: The Great American Eclipse.
2. Summertime cool
As if the weather forecast hasn’t been off the wall enough this year, the total solar eclipse is about to make temperatures suddenly drop. According to Space.com, the Norwegian island of Svalbard experienced a 15 degree F drop in temperature during the total solar eclipse that passed in 2015. It’s uncertain just how much the temperature will dip this year, however the sudden cooling effect could be just enough to make you reach for those extra layers you’ve had tucked away for the season. Of course, in each location with optimal visibility of the eclipse, the moon’s cool shadow will last less than three minutes. That’s just enough time to wrap your STAR scarf around your shoulders and get in the mood for fall and winter.
Is your Facebook feed ready for this? Just as the moon is set to takeover the sun’s shining path to Earth, you can be sure that social media is about to get real spacey. Hashtags like #eclipse2017, #eclipselife, and, yes, #totaleclipseoftheheart are already trending on Twitter and Instagram. This year’s eclipse is expected to become the most viewed in history, and we have no doubt that photos and videos from those witnessing Monday’s event will prove this true. In fact, the state of Oregon is expecting a million visitors who are eager to be among the first in the country to catch the eclipse. The last time the northwest saw this kind of infiltration was with a certain Twilight, but we don’t need to get into that…#teamJacob.
4. Need to see it to believe it?
You may have been disappointed to hear that the moon’s path of darkness will reach just a select handful of U.S. states, but keep in mind one thing: we live in the 21st century. Plenty of websites will be hosting live streaming of the event, including NASA which will host a four-hour “Eclipse Megacast,” documenting the moon’s movement from U.S. coast to coast. And while it seems popular to say that the upcoming celestial event is a “once-in-a-lifetime” occurrence, we’ll all have another shot to see it in person come 2019 when the next total solar eclipse will be visible in Chile and Argentina. It just may mean packing up a suitcase and hopping the equator, but the moon has its ways of pulling us towards adventure like that.
The total solar eclipse will begin on the west coast at 10:16 a.m. in Lincoln Beach, Oregon, and end in Columbia, South Carolina at 2:44 p.m. this August 21. Have plans to catch it in person? We’d love to see your photos! Tag Emilime on Instagram @shopemilime
Watercolor courtesy of Sandra Venegas.