On Monday, August 21, as the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, a total solar eclipse will make its way mile by mile across the contiguous United States. At certain places along its path, the Moon will completely obscure the Sun, blocking out its light for about three minutes. On a cloudless day, these places directly in the path of the “totality,” or central shadow, will suddenly go from brilliant sunshine to a sky dark enough to see stars and nearby planets. This total solar eclipse—the first to cross the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic since 1918—will start in Oregon at 10:17 am PDT and end in South Carolina at 2:44 pm EDT. Locations outside the direct path, including the New York metropolitan area, will experience a partial solar eclipse. In New York, the Moon will cover more than 70 percent of the Sun. "If it’s bright and sunny, for a little while it will feel oddly like a cloudy day,” says astronomer Charles Liu. “The light won’t seem quite right.” Heads up, New Yorkers! For maximum drama, spend a good deal of time outside until until the partial eclipse is about to begin at 1:23 pm. Then go inside until just before the peak time—2:44 pm—is about to be reached. Step outside then, and you should immediately notice the difference. Or, using safety glasses approved by a reputable authority, stay out and watch the Moon gradually overtake the Sun and then pass it by until the partial eclipse ends around 4 pm.
If you want to follow the total eclipse in real time that day and learn more about it, come to the Museum’s Rose Center for Earth and Space to see a live broadcast from NASA. This program is free for Members or with Museum admission. Image: NASA. #amnh #eclipse #eclipse2017 #solareclipse