In August 2017, the Great American Total Solar Eclipse will be visible from a number of U.S. states for the first time since 1979. While that was visible to many it was hardly visible to all and next year’s eclipse will feature a roughly 70-mile wide band that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina with residents in Missouri, Kentucky expecting to host thousands of visitors looking to get a look where it is most prolific.
Why is this happening and what to expect from the eclipse?
While NASA truly impressed a number of people with its series of “Space Tourism” posters that it released free to the public, this space tourism will occur in the heartland of the United States as a number of space pilgrims are all booking hotel rooms to get in on this near “once in a lifetime” occurrence .
For example, Giant City State Park doesn’t see much in the way of tourism, not has it ever. But Giant City Lodge manager, Michael Kelly says that “We’ve been getting calls from around the world.”
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While total solar eclipses due occur, the areas to view these events are often in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of the ocean but that will change for hundreds of thousands later next year.
In order for a full solar eclipse to occur the moon needs to be the correct distance from the earth. However, more importantly the angle in which it passes the sun more often that not leads to partial solar eclipses. Giving that the “path” of next years event, nearly everyone in the continental United States could get in their car and drive for less than a day to observe the event. While most New Yorkers, for example, don’t have a car there are plenty of car sharing companies where it could be done quite easily.
If 200 million people make the drive, (that’s not going to happen) it could be quite difficult to find accommodation but August is generally pretty nice for camping in the areas that will draw the most visitors.
During an eclipse like this, for reason’s unknown to scientists, the sun’s corona can reach over a million degrees Celsius. To put this in perspective, the sun’s temperature itself is around 6,000 degrees. So events like these give researchers more data to ascertain what might cause this phenomenon.
It goes without saying that those that plan to get the best glimpse of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, you will need to take some care and either use a pinhole viewer or some serious eye protection. While it’s certainly going to be worth seeing it certainly doesn’t behoove you to damage your eyes or do something ridiculous like point a telescope at the event in order to get a better view.
The chance to witness one of these events is to watch something truly special watching day go to night and animals to grow truly quiet in their fright presumably like our ancestors did before they understood what makes a full solar eclipse occur every so often. Book your hotel rooms now as you only have about 235 days left and you’ll not want to miss this.