As you most likely have already heard on August 21st many people in the United States will be able to witness a total solar eclipse. This is when the moon is perfectly aligned in front of the sun, and it has not happened in the states for a long time!
NASA has recently released a new visualization that shows in detail where this magnificent phenomenon will be visible. It seems to cut across the US from Oregon to South Carolina. In their visualization, the umbra is shaped like a curved polygon so it is a bit different than the perfect circle you may have been imagining.
This new highly detailed level comes from using 3-D maps of the moon’s surface and was created by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Elevation data make assumptions on where the shadows will hit. The total solar eclipse is a rare sight and is something everyone who sees it will remember for the rest of their lives.
In the very distant future, solar eclipses, in general, will no longer exist. This is because the moon is receding slowly away from Earth at a rate of around an inch per year. Once the moon gets far enough away from us it’s size will be too small to cover the sun. If you plan on watching the total solar eclipse please do so safely.
The only way to look directly at it safely is through special-purpose filters (eclipse glasses) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or even normal sunglasses are not safe. Even though the sun will be covered by the moon, it can and will still damage your eyes.
To see the NASA visualization mentioned above check out the video below. I am beyond excited for this total solar eclipse, are you? Will you be able to see it from where you are?
This article contains information from Futurism.