Total Eclipse to Darken Earth August 21


Sky & Telescope

People across the United States will see the sun disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop rapidly and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon. On August 21, 2017,  America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse, according to 

This eclipse will give millions of people the chance to enjoy the first coast-to-coast eclipse in 99 years.

The eclipse will be viewed across the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada, Central America and northern South America, with more than half of the sun covered for residents across the lower 48 states.  In Yorba Linda, California, the eclipse will be a 0.69 magnitude, meaning 69% of the sun will be covered at Yorba Linda, according to 

Some major cities’ magnitudes include: New York: 0.77, Los Angeles:  0.69, San Francisco:  0.80, Chicago:  0.89, and Houston: 0.73.  For more information about the magnitude of the eclipse for any city, see

However, many want to see a full eclipse.  The eclipse will cross over 14 states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, although Montana and Iowa are not noteworthy because the eclipse only passes through a tiny part of the state, explains the sources. 

Don’t act too quickly!  The following four companies sell eclipse glasses that meet the international standard (ISO 12312-2) recommended by NASA, the AAS and other scientific organizations: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17, says  All other brands should not be trusted.

The weather may not cooperate, though. In Madras, for example, eclipse chasers can expect average cloud cover between around 15 and 20 percent. Moving east, cloud cover generally increases depending on topography and other factors. In Nashville, up to 70 percent of the afternoon sky can be cloud covered, reports Canadian meteorologist and eclipse enthusiast, Jay Anderson.

However, moving east, the eclipse will also be longer.  The weather might be better in the northwest, but due of the moon’s orbital track and changing distance from the Earth, totality will be longer in the southeast.

“Two minutes and 40 seconds in southern Illinois and western Kentucky, whereas it’s only going to be a couple of seconds over two minutes in Oregon,” Rick Fienberg, a spokesperson for the American Astronomical Society (AAS) stated.

When the eclipse arrives, the temperature will drop, bright stars like Regulus will become visible and the sun’s burning corona will shimmer into view like a halo around the unseen moon. The light coming in from the horizon, from beyond the edge of the moon’s shadow, will appear in pinkish-orange hues like a 360-degree sunset.

“It’s not as dark as night, for the most part,” said Fienberg. “This one, the shadow’s only about 70 miles wide. So 35 miles away from you, in every direction, it’s light. The sky during a total solar eclipse is not black, it’s blue.”

However, if you want to see the eclipse now, you’re out of luck!  Many hotel rooms have already been booked for months or years in advance.

In 2024, another solar eclipse will run through Mexico to Maine, as shown in the bottom picture below.  This eclipse will have some differences from the 2017 eclipse, but both eclipses will cross over one spot, an area southeast of St. Louis.

Matthew Penn, an astronomer with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory said, “To have [an eclipse] travel across the entire country is an unprecedented sort of opportunity. It’ll be a heck of day.”