Total Solar Eclipse: Prepare for the “Big One” in 2017

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    August 21, 2017, will bring us a rare and magnificent treat that hasn’t been seen in decades: a total solar eclipse. Darkening skies from Oregon to South Carolina, this show is sure to be unforgettable.

    The last total solar eclipse was back in 1979. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to see the show, therefore many are planning to travel. Despite the fact that it will encompass a region 70 miles wide, various regions will completely miss the show. However, the internet is prepared, and a variety of maps are available that depict the regions which will fall under this amazing phenomenon. You can look at the map below to see for yourself.

    Eclipse expert Jay Pasachoff, who works as an astronomer at Williams College in Massachusetts explained to Space.com that the eclipse is a “tremendous opportunity,” continuing further he stated that, “It’s a chance to see the universe change around you.”

    What makes an eclipse so absolutely mesmerizing is the fact that during it, the Moon completely blocks the Sun, which causes daylight to turn into a “deep twilight,” while the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky.

    Despite the rarity and beauty of this event, experts advise not attempting photography during the two-minutes that the eclipse takes place. Instead, the state that the experience is much better if you take it all in with your senses and memory. Why? There is currently no camera technology available that can capture the beauty of a total solar eclipse. So while you are wasting your time photographing something that can’t be photographed you will miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to just experience it.

    However, more experienced photographers with advanced equipment can get a close depiction of the experience for later viewing. If you do plan on viewing the eclipse, make sure that you are equipped as viewing it with the naked eye can be quite damaging to your retina. For now, you can purchase such equipment quite cheaply online. But, the closer the day comes, the less available such equipment will be.

    Approximately 12 million people live within the “path of totality” and 220 million others live within one day’s travel of it. So, do a little research, find out if you are in its path and if not, maybe it’s the perfect time to plan a vacation that will surpass any vacation you have ever taken. Even notable astronomer and science communicator Neil Degrasse Tyson has explained that “A total eclipse of the sun belongs on everyone’s bucket list.”

     



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