If you haven’t heard yet, maybe because you reside on the dark side of the moon, there will be a total solar eclipse across the United States on Monday August, 21 2017.
Millions of people will travel that day into the thin strip across the U.S. just 70 miles wide to where totality will occur. This is where people will experience the full effect of the eclipse, but what if you are well outside this area of totality? Just remember that anywhere you are in the United States, Hawaii and Alaska included, you will be able to see the eclipse in varying degrees. Not to throw shade on those in the path of totality, but there are neat things about the eclipse wherever you may be.
Wherever you set up to watch the eclipse remember that you will still need proper eye protection to watch the moon pass in front of the sun. Those in the path of totality and only during the total eclipse will be able to safely look at the sun/moon combo without solar glasses or the like. That is not a safe option for those in the partial eclipse so remember to eclipse safely and keep you eyes protected when gazing upon Ol’ Sol.
You may want to document your experience with a camera and that’s a great idea. Photo’s, video and timelapses are great ways to preserve and share “your” eclipse. Cameras need the same protection that your eyes do and it just so happens that eclipse shades will work for those too. If the lens of your camera is small enough you can place a lens from your eclipse glasses over it and shoot away!
During the eclipse, pay attention to your surroundings. You may notice a difference in light quality, animals may act differently and the air temperature may drop in locations even away from totality.
This eclipse will also offer the opportunity to experience the amount of sunlight that reaches the outer planets of our solar system. During totality, depending on how far from the center of the path, you will experience the “lack” of sunlight planets receive from Neptune to Mars and everywhere inbetween.
If Monday’s eclipse does not satisfy, then good news! There will be another total solar eclipse in the U.S. in just 7 years. On April 8, 2024 the United States will again see a total eclipse spanning from Texas to Maine.
Meteorologist Mike Morrison