What? Where? When?

Good news for all the people living in America. On 21st of August they will witness an astronomical phenomenon which hasn’t been seen in over 38 years. The last a total solar eclipse was visible in America, was in 1979. Therefor if you miss this opportunity you will need to wait another 7 years until 2024. The total solar eclipse will be visible only on a narrow corridor as you can see in the image below. In the rest only a partial eclipse will be visible. This narrow corridor consists of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina (a tiny corner of Montana and Iowa are also inside the path).

Solar Eclipse 2017
Solar Eclipse 2017

The maximum duration of this phenomenon will be 2 minutes 40 seconds. Therefor you will not have enough time to make adjustments of your camera if you want to take the shot. You should prepare in advance.

What is a solar eclipse? What you will see?

This celestial event is more common than you would think. The only issue about solar eclipses is that they happen quite often over sea. However, for those who don’t know what a solar eclipse is, I can tell you that it is  a celestial phenomenon. It happens when the Moon and the Sun are perfectly aligned. Thanks to the Moon’s size, this has the perfect diameter in relation to the distance of the Sun.

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The dark gray region between the Moon and Earth is the umbra. It is the place where the Moon completely obscures the Sun. The small area is where the umbra touches Earth’s surface. This place is where a total eclipse can be seen. The larger light gray area is the penumbra. Consequently it is the place where you will see only the partial eclipse. This is the explanation behind why the total solar eclipse will be visible only on a narrow corridor.

Solar eclipse

How to prepare for the total solar eclipse 2017

It is very important to highlight that under no circumstances should you watch the solar eclipse with the naked eye. You need to take precautions otherwise you could harm your eyesight. Do not view or photograph the eclipse without the use of solar filters and appropriate eye-wear designed for viewing the solar eclipse. For instance you can pick one from amazon. Presently they have plenty of products out there. If you don’t want to waste time click on the link below.

In any case it is very important to know that although the Moon will cover the Sun, the exposed corona has enough energy to harm your eyesight if viewed with the naked eye. A lot of people might think that you can watch this phenomena without any protection. But please pay attention . There are a lot of articles present on the Internet which are misleading . It is crucial to enjoy this spectacle having safety in mind.

Solar eclipse phases
Solar eclipse phases

Final thoughts

My final thought is that I envy all of you living in the US right now, especially those that will witness the total solar eclipse. Where I live right now the last solar eclipse was in 1999 and the next one will be in 2081. I will come up with a separate articles for those who will want to take a shot of this spectacular celestial phenomenon. I will try to cover all the major aspects that you will need to pay attention in order to take the shot in those precious 2 minutes.

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