On August 21, 2017, the continental United States will witness one of the most amazing sights that nature has to offer. We will be treated to a total solar eclipse, something that the United States has not seen since February 26, 1979. So gear up and get yourselves ready to get out there and see this awesome nature phenomenon.
What You Need
Keep in mind that in order to catch a solar eclipse you will be out in the sun all day in the heat of summer in order to witness it. You will need some things in order to make sure that you have an enjoyable time and can witness the eclipse without trouble.
You should bring:
- Eclipse Viewing Glasses: You will absolutely need these to protect your eyes as you watch the phases leading into the eclipse. You would not stare at the sun on a regular day, so you should not do it on the day of an eclipse. It is just as painful and damaging. You can buy them from various websites.
- Sunscreen: It will be August and you will be undoubtedly standing in the heat for many hours before the big event and getting a sunburn is not where you want to be.
- Hat: Keep yourself cool and shaded with a good wide-brimmed hat.
- Water: Heat exhaustion is no joke and not something you should tamper with. Stay hydrated out there.
- Get the app: There are apps that will allow you to be sure that you are where you should be to see the eclipse well. The eclipse2017.org, EclipseFlite, and Solar Eclipse Timer GPS Converter apps will let you know that you are where you need to be and help follow the path of the eclipse as it is happening.
- Chairs: Just because you are waiting for hours for the eclipse does not mean you need to be standing the whole time.
- Camera: While not every camera can capture the solar eclipse, if you want to try to take a picture of it, make sure you have all of the equipment you need. You will also need to be sure that your flash is totally turned off because your camera will need to take it all the light it can during the eclipse. You should set your camera on a timer though so you actually get to enjoy the eclipse in real-time instead of through a camera lens.
Where to Be
Since this is going to be the first eclipse since the 1970s, you will want to get the best view of it that you can. The path of the eclipse is around 70 miles wide and will stretch from South Carolina to Oregon.
The states it will be totally visible in are:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
Remember that it will only be visible in certain areas of each state, so you will need to confirm where it is going to be visible nearest to you. There are also many organized events in the places you can see it, so looking up which ones are near you may also make the entire experience easier on you.
The eclipse itself does not last long, but its duration really depends on where you are. The longest it will last is 2 minutes, 40 seconds in totally, but the movement through the eclipse will last two to three hours. It is also important to know that the eclipse moves west to east, in reverse of the movement of the sun.
Wherever you are, just be safe in your viewing and enjoy one of the rarest and most beautiful natural phenomenons.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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