The 2017 total solar eclipse is coming to the continental United States on August 21. Since this is the first time in 38 years that this has occurred on the United States’ mainland, it is going to be a spectacular, must-see event.
It’s interesting to note that a total eclipse can only be seen from the same area an average of once every 375 years. This is even more cause for celebration, since it will be visible here in just a few more months.
The area where the total eclipse is visible is referred to as “the path of totality.” This distance is 120 kilometers wide, which is roughly 75 miles. If you’re planning to go sky watching on August 21, be sure to wear your eclipse glasses so you can safely view this phenomenal event!
NASA says that the only way to safely view this eclipse is by using specially designed sun filters or No. 14 welder’s glasses. Since you want to have the best possible viewing experience, wearing special eclipse glasses will provide eye protection for solar eclipse viewing.
If you’re already making arrangements to view the 2017 solar eclipse, you probably already know more than a few facts about the sun. If you’re a new sky-watching enthusiast, however, you may be interested to hear a bit about the sun.
First of all, the sun’s core can attain temperatures of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. The corona, which surrounds the sun, is made up of plasma, and has a temperature of 2 million degrees Fahrenheit. It’s interesting to note that this corona is actually 10 billion times less dense than the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level.
Solar flares and winds are also fascinating. Were you aware that solar flares are able to release 10 million times more energy than an erupting volcano? Solar winds move incredibly fast, too. In fact, when they move particles through space, this occurs at 400 kilometers per second. This is the equivalent of roughly 249 miles per second.
While it’s likely you’ll be speechless while viewing the total eclipse of the sun, be sure to share your experience with friends and family afterwards. While it may be a while before another event like this occurs in the United States, just imagine being able to say that you were there.
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