Total Solar Eclipse Coming in August

Rare Viewing From American Soil

In less than 2 months time, an astronomical wonder will cast a shadow onto the Earth’s surface.

But what exactly is going to occur up in space on August 21st?

A total solar eclipse has only been seen on American soil twice in the past 50 years.

It happens when the sun, moon, and the Earth are perfectly aligned so that the moon is blocking out the Sun’s light onto the Earth’s surface.

“When the moon blocks the sun’s light, we get to see the solar corona around the moon – the solar corona is the sun’s atmosphere. And it’s not really bright so we usually can’t see it, but during a total solar eclipse, we can,” explains NASA Scientist Dr. Nicholeen Viall.

The path of totality, the area where the moon blocks out the sun’s light, is only 70 miles wide and stretches diagonally across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.

And even if you’re staying home in the Red River Valley, you’ll still be able to see a partial solar eclipse that will be lasting way longer than the average viewing of two to seven minutes.

“We actually get an observation of an hour and thirty minutes by putting telescopes all along the path as well as balloons and sensors all along the path, giving us a unique opportunity to see the rich outer atmosphere of the sun where all the solar activity happens,” says NASA Scientist Dr. Alex Young.

But wherever you are on August 21st, make sure not to look directly at the sun during the total solar eclipse.

For more information on the total solar eclipse, click here.

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