The Aug. 21 Great American Solar Eclipse is fast approaching, and it promises to be one of the most incredible events of a lifetime.
The United States is about to have something absolutely amazing happen, and you’ll be able to witness it live. On Aug. 21, a little more than a couple weeks away, a total solar eclipse will pass from Oregon down to South Carolina, and millions are flocking to the 70-mile-wide “band of totality” to catch the incredible show.
The sun, Earth, and moon will all line up perfectly on that day for several minutes, plunging the nation into total darkness for those in the path, and into mostly darkness for much of the rest of the country. It is expected to be the most heavily observed and studied solar eclipse in history.
And it’s resulted in a ton of eclipse festivals springing up across the country, especially in cities that happen to fall within the band of totality. Many people are expected to hit the roads or take to the skies to get there in time for the big event.
“For most viewers, the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse will last less than two and half minutes,” reads a NASA statement on what they’re doing. “But for one team of NASA-funded scientists, the eclipse will last over seven minutes. Their secret? Following the shadow of the Moon in two retrofitted WB-57F jet planes.
“Amir Caspi of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and his team will use two of NASA’s WB-57F research jets to chase the darkness across America on Aug. 21. Taking observations from twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the planes, Caspi will capture the clearest images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury, revealing how temperature varies across the planet’s surface.”