Stunning Solar Eclipse Expected this Sunday

Camille Francis
February 25, 2017

Clemson University is located near the center of the path of totality of the total solar eclipse that will occur on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 21.

As per the weatherman, this eclipse is not going to block the entire sun's disc and hence can not be termed as a total solar eclipse.

Annular eclipses provide an astonishing spectacle for those fortunate enough to see the fiery ring of sunlight, but for other skywatchers it is somewhat less impressive than a total eclipse. The August event, however, will be more special as it is "readily available to people from coast to coast", Pasachoff added. As the moon is not entirely eclipsing the Sun, it is known as an annular eclipse, rather than a total eclipse.

For specific viewing times for South America and Africa, fans may check out the timetables listed on EclipseWise.

After half an hour, the sun will turn bright again but appear with a diminished crescent-like shape. After about another 90 minutes, the sun will slowly return to normal and the eclipse will be over.

The "greatest duration" of the eclipse - west of Chile in the South Pacific Ocean - occurs at 8:16 a.m. ET, which lasts about 1 minute and 22 seconds, when the eclipse ribbon is 59 miles wide. Professional astronomers, amateur star gazers and even casual watchers of the sky are getting excited. Specially filtered telescopes and cameras can be used to view it, but probably the best and safest method for first-time eclipse viewers is to use eclipse glasses or No. 14 welder's glass.

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And I would definitely make those decisions the day of or day before as to how much material I do and what my spin on it is. But, hey, if you're reading those start times and thinking, "I want more", then you're in luck.

This map from NASA shows the path of the total eclipse, beginning near Portland, Oregon, and traveling across the continent, ending over SC.

For those on the "path of totality", the celestial event will be an unforgettable experience. But from anywhere in the United States, you will be able to see a partial solar eclipse.

Those intending to view eclipses are encouraged to wear eye protection while viewing.

If the Moon were in a perfectly circular orbit, a little closer to the Earth, and in the same orbital plane, there would be total solar eclipses every month.

"Total solar eclipses are not only rare and handsome, but they offer scientists unique opportunities to study our sun's outer atmosphere and to observe light deflection of background stars predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity", said Clemson astronomy professor Dieter Hartmann.

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