The National Eclipse is Coming!

On August 21, 2017, America will be treated to its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years. That's why we're calling it the NATIONAL ECLIPSE. From Oregon to South Carolina, the eclipse will trace a 67-mile-wide path of totality across the country and millions of Americans will witness a once-in-a-lifetime event as the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and day turns to night for up to almost three minutes.

WHAT IS AN ECLIPSE? | WHAT TO EXPECT | ECLIPSE WEATHER | ECLIPSE SAFETY | OTHER U.S. ECLIPSES

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Types of Eclipses

What is an Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and the Moon blocks the Sun for a viewer on Earth. During a total eclipse, the Moon lines up perfectly to fully obscure the Sun, resulting in "totality"; in a partial eclipse, the Moon and the Sun are not perfectly aligned and only part of the Sun is blocked; and during an annular eclipse, alignment is perfect but the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely obscure the Sun. Due to the peculiarities of the Moon's orbit, no more than five solar eclipses can occur in any given year, and no more than two can be total. This, in addition to the fact that a total solar eclipse is visible on the Earth's surface only along a very narrow path for just a few short minutes, makes totality one of nature's rarest events.

What to Expect

What to Expect

Most people who have seen a total eclipse have described it as the most spectacular natural event they have ever witnessed. It starts as the Moon slowly obscures more and more of the Sun. When just a small sliver of light remains, you'll see Baily's beads, caused by the last rays of sunlight streaming through the lunar valleys. Next, a flash of light! Is that a giant diamond ring in the sky? And then the soft wisps of the solar corona surrounding a huge hole where the Sun used to be. You might notice a temperature drop, birds coming home, and an eerie stillness in the air. You're standing in a strange twilight, while a sunset glows on the horizon all around you. Finally, totality comes to an end as the events occur in reverse order on the opposite limb of the Moon. (Photo by Luc Viatour.)

Weather Map

Eclipse Weather

One of the most important factors to consider, both when planning an eclipse trip and in the days leading up to an eclipse, is the weather. A few stray clouds at the wrong moment can spoil years of planning! For the NATIONAL ECLIPSE, historical weather data for the western U.S. indicates a good possibility of favorable weather in late August. In the central and east, the prospects are somewhat less promising, but these states still enjoy plenty of sunny skies in late summer. Clouds can pose a problem anywhere along the path of totality where mountains appear. Of course, climate is not the same as weather, so eclipse chasers need to remain flexible on eclipse day and be ready to move quickly to another location if clouds move in. (See our Overview page for more weather information.)

Eclipse Glasses

Eclipse Safety

Since looking directly at the Sun, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness, special safety glasses must always be used (sunglasses are not safe). Although it may be tempting to look directly at the Sun with unprotected eyes when so much of it is obscured, the small amount of light emitted during a solar eclipse is still dangerous. The only time it is safe to look at the Sun with unprotected eyes during a total solar eclipse is during the very brief period of "totality," but care must be taken to avoid the Sun before totality starts and avert the eyes before totality ends. Attempting to view the Sun using binoculars, telescopes, cameras, or other devices without proper filters is extremely hazardous and can permanently damage the eyes in an instant.

Other U.S. Eclipses

Other U.S. Eclipses

The 2017 total solar eclipse will be the first seen from the United States since 1991, when a total eclipse was visible in Hawaii, and the first witnessed in the contiguous U.S. since 1979. The path of totality in 1979 traveled only through five northwestern states, making the 2017 coast-to-coast eclipse a very special event. After 2017, the next total solar eclipse in America will occur in 2024, when the path of totality will travel across the country in a northeast direction from Texas to Maine. Alaska will experience a total solar eclipse in 2033, an eclipse will be seen in Montana and North Dakota in 2044, and a second coast-to-coast eclipse will come to America in 2045, entering in California and exiting in Florida. In 2052, a total eclipse will skim parts of six southern states.

Eclipse Maps

The NATIONAL ECLIPSE will be the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in America since 1918. It's also the first total eclipse exclusive to the U.S. since the nation's founding in 1776. To fully experience the eclipse, you must be within the narrow path of totality represented on the map below.

Total Solar Eclipse - August 21, 2017 - USA Map


VIEW DETAILED MAPS OF EACH STATE

SEE A DETAILED STATE-BY-STATE OVERVIEW OF THE ECLIPSE

Eclipse Cities

To fully experience the NATIONAL ECLIPSE, you must be located within the narrow path of totality. The following is a list of major cities that fall within the path of totality on August 21, 2017. All times and durations shown are representative samples and depend on your exact location in each city.

City Start of Total Solar Eclipse (local time) Duration of Totality (min:sec)
Corvallis, OR10:16:56 AM PT1:40
Salem, OR10:17:21 AM PT1:54
Idaho Falls, ID11:33:02 AM MT1:48
Casper, WY11:42:40 AM MT2:26
North Platte, NE12:54:05 PM CT1:45
Grand Island, NE12:58:35 PM CT2:34
Lincoln, NE1:02:37 PM CT1:14
St. Joseph, MO1:06:27 PM CT2:38
Kasnsas City, KS*1:08:35 PM CT0:24
Kansas City, MO*1:08:40 PM CT0:29
Columbia, MO1:12:22 PM CT2:37
Jefferson City, MO1:13:08 PM CT2:29
St. Louis, MO*1:18:14 PM CT0:18
Carbondale, IL1:20:06 PM CT2:37
Paducah, KY1:22:17 PM CT2:21
Hopkinsville, KY1:24:42 PM CT2:40
Clarksville, TN1:25:35 PM CT2:18
Bowling Green, KY1:27:21 PM CT1:13
Nashville, TN1:27:27 PM CT1:55
Cullowhee, NC**2:35:57 PM ET1:54
Toccoa, GA**2:36:40 PM ET2:00
Greenville, SC2:38:03 PM ET2:10
Columbia, SC2:41:51 PM ET2:30
Charleston, SC2:46:25 PM ET1:33

Eclipse data courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, from eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov

* Parts of Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City and St. Louis, MO, are outside the path of totality
** Since the path of totality doesn't cross any major cities in North Carolina or Georgia, the two cities with the largest populations are listed: Cullowhee, NC, and Toccoa, GA



SEE A STATE-BY-STATE LIST OF MORE CITIES

SEE A DETAILED STATE-BY-STATE OVERVIEW OF THE ECLIPSE

Eclipse Animations

This animation from NASA shows the path of totality that can be expected for the NATIONAL ECLIPSE on August 21, 2017. To fully experience a total solar eclipse, you must be located within the center shadow of the path.




VIEW MORE ANIMATIONS

ECLIPSE STORE

Prepare for and celebrate the NATIONAL ECLIPSE with these specially selected items.

  • Paper Eclipse Glasses

    Paper Eclipse Glasses


    Eclipse Shades™ are absolutely safe for direct viewing of solar eclipses.

    $14.95 - Pack of 5
    $18.95 - Pack of 10
    $21.25 - Pack of 25
    $75.00 - Pack of 100
  • Plastic Eclipse Glasses

    Plastic Eclipse Glasses


    Just as safe as the paper Eclipse Shades™, but with a plastic, wrap-around frame.

    $19.95
  • Total Solar Eclipse 2017

    Total Solar Eclipse 2017


    A complete guide to the 2017 eclipse. Everything you need to plan a successful viewing experience.

    $35.99
  • Go See the Eclipse

    Go See The Eclipse


    Advice on where to go, what to take, and how to prepare for the 2017 eclipse, and how to inspire children to view it.

    $14.99
  • Eclipse Bracelet

    Eclipse Bracelet


    Unique and beautiful silver bracelet showing five phases of a solar eclipse. 7" bracelet.

    $25.00
  • Eclipse Pendant

    Eclipse Pendant


    Art glass pendant with a breathtaking image of a solar eclipse. 1" diameter pendant, with an 18" snake chain.

    $17.75


SEE THE ENTIRE COLLECTION

(Please note that NationalEclipse.com does not directly sell any of the products featured in our store. All product links go to third-party sellers. NationalEclipse.com receives a small commission on all sales, which helps defray the costs of maintaining this website.)

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