How to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse

By Yolanda R. Arrington
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Diagram showing the Earth-sun-moon geometry of a total solar eclipse. Not to scale: If drawn to scale, the Moon would be 30 Earth diameters away. The sun would be 400 times that distance. NASA illustration

North America will get a glimpse of a total solar eclipse Aug. 21. It will be the first time a solar eclipse has been visible in the continental U.S. in nearly 40 years. If you’re in the path of totality, you’ll be able to see the rare sight of the moon completely covering the sun. The view will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.

This map shows the globe view of the path of totality for the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse. Illustration by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

The first point of contact will be at Lincoln Beach, Oregon. at 9:05 a.m. PDT. It will then cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. The eclipse is slated to end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT.

Don’t fret if you’re outside the path. You’ll still get to see a partial solar eclipse, with the moon covering a portion of the sun’s disc.

NASA has set up a website with everything you need to know about the eclipse and how to see it — through a pair of good sunglasses, of course.

If you have access to a printer, you can print your own pinhole projector to safely view the eclipse by downloading the file from this site.

For more information on how to safely view the eclipse, visit Health.mil.

Happy viewing!

RELATED LINK: Saturday Space Sight: Solar Eclipse from the International Space Station

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