This chart shows the path of the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. It hits the continental U.S. in Oregon and leaves our country via South Carolina. // map by Fred Espenak/NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Mark your calendars. The total solar eclipse that people already are talking about — the one that will cross the United States on August 21, 2017 — is 1,500 days away. The media hype has begun. Or, rather, it begins with this blog.
I say “hype,” but there’s no way any description can over-hype a total solar eclipse. It’s nature’s grandest spectacle, and anyone who has ever witnessed one comes away mesmerized. Appreciative. Changed.
Already, I’ve heard reports of groups reserving blocks of rooms (and, in at least one case, an entire motel) within or close to the path of totality. Friends, it’s not too early to start thinking about where you’ll be August 21, 2017.
I’m planning to be in St. Joseph, Missouri. That city’s right on the center line, and the duration of totality there is only two seconds less than the maximum. More importantly, my wife’s parents live there, and “Dad,” although a professional musician by trade, is a chef-quality cook. So, I’ll be enjoying great meals and chatting up the even-greater celestial event with who knows how many people. Of course, if the weather is foul in St. Joe on eclipse day, I’ll grab a doggie-bag and head to a fairer clime.
The most recent total solar eclipse occurred November 14, 2012. This image shows one of the spectacular diamond rings that observers see on either side of totality. // photo by Mike Reynolds
Stay tuned to Astronomy.com as the countdown continues, where you’ll find blogs, news updates, images, maps, weather forecasts, stories from past eclipses, and more. The excitement is already building, and we still have 1,500 days to go!