On August 21st, 2017 an event will happen that hasn’t been seen in the contiguous U.S. in 38 years. On that day across 10 states a total solar eclipse will occur. There is a narrow band about 70 miles wide stretching from Oregon to South Carolina where viewers will experience total darkness for up to 2 and a half minutes.
As an avid amateur astronomer I have been in anticipation for this event for quite some time now. My adventure continues when I head to South Carolina to try and spectate the event. Other spectators of previous solar eclipses have tried to explain the event and all admit that attempts fail in comparison to actually being there. As it will be an event that one will remember for the rest of their lives, I thought I would take a look at what the sky will look like for everyone who is still here in Western PA for the afternoon of 8/21/2017. Be sure to have approved visual aid as looking directly at the Sun can cause damage to our eyes. I will put a link to Amazon’s product page, the glasses are fairly inexpensive and would ensure that you and your fellow viewers are protected. You can view their lineup here.
As you can see the narrow darker band on the map highlights the area where “totality” occurs. Anyone outside the band will still experience a partial solar eclipse. For western PA it’s between 70% and 80% coverage of the sun.
For the next hour and twenty-five minutes the Moon will make it’s way across the face of the Sun. At 2:33 PM EST if you can steal a few minutes from work to look at the sun (through your approved glasses) this is what the sun will look like.
As you can see some of the top of the Sun will be visible, be sure to look around you as shadows may change and give certain objects a different look.
I hope to be able to grab some photos and video of our little adventure to give you an idea of how it is at totality.
If you have an interest in the Solar Eclipse or Astronomy in General send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to comment or ask questions in our comments section below as well.