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Get Ready! 2017 Solar Eclipse Will Be The Most Awesome One In 99 Years

Millions of Americans will get the rare opportunity next summer to experience a total solar eclipse.

On August 21, 2017, the moon will pass in front of the sun and its shadow will sweep across the contiguous U.S., crossing 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina.

Total solar eclipses aren’t especially rare, despite what many people think. One occurs somewhere on Earth every 18 months on average, according to Sky & Telescope.
Credit: MILOSLAV DRUCKMULLER A 2008 solar eclipse

But this will be the first one since February 1979 ― back when Jimmy Carter was in the White House and Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” was atop the music charts ― to be visible in the lower 48 states. It will be the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to sweep from coast to coast.

The next total solar eclipse won’t come our way again until2024.

So this could be your best opportunity to see firsthand a celestial event so sublime that it’s been called “one of the most awe-inspiringspectacles in all of nature” and has been known to produce profoundpsychological effects in observers.

“It will be the most spectacular thing that anybody has ever seen,” Dr. Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College and witness to 33 total solar eclipses, told The Huffington Post. “We try to tell people that in advance, but when they to see one they are still absolutely amazed. People cheer. People cry. It’s just absolutely spectacular.”

The eclipse will actually be visible across all of North America and parts of South America. But most people in these areas will see only a partial eclipse. Only people within a band that averages about 68 mileswide will be treated to the total eclipse (click on interactive map below to see the band in detail).

Twelve million people live directly in this band, according to All they have to do to see “totality” ― the brief span of time during which the moon obscures the sun completely ― will be to look up. About 200 million people live within a one-day drive of the band.

Just what is it like to witness a total solar eclipse?

As the moon starts to cover the sun, its light ebbs. As totality nears, the sky goes from twilight blue to bluish-black. Bright stars and planets suddenly become visible. The temperature may drop by as much as 20 degrees. Confused by the sudden darkness, animals may prepare for sleep.

 Happy viewing!

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