PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – That’s right. In late August, Americans will witness the first total solar eclipse to cross the continent in a century.
And NASA is planning to closely study the event. Wednesday scientists shared some of the details.
Our region isn’t in the path of the total eclipse but we will still get to see a partial solar eclipse.
The countdown is on!
In exactly two months, the United States will witness a unique celestial event, a total solar eclipse!
It’s a cosmic show usually glimpsed from space. But soon the best view will be on American soil off the first total solar eclipse to cross the US in decades.
Vanessa Griffin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, “This is a 99 year event. It’s been 99 years since total eclipse covered west coast to east coast.”
On August 21, the moon will pass between the sun and earth. Its shadow will race across the country at an average speed of about 1,500 mph, covering a space roughly 70-miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina.
The sky will darken and temperatures will drop as much as 25 degrees.
Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA says, “These cosmic moments when nature speaks to us in an emotional way sometimes come loud like thunderstorms, like hurricanes…earthquakes. But this one will be silent.”
Looking skyward, spectators will have a chance to view the sun’s lower corona. That area expels electromagnetic energy and matter into the solar system, which can have a real-world impact here on earth.
Dr. Alex Young of NASA astrophysicist says, “It messes with GPS, with our communications systems, even power grids. It can also mess with your eyes.”
Zurbuchen says, “The sun is way too bright for your eyes. So be safe. Do enjoy it but be safe.”
The best way to enjoy the spectacle is with special viewing glasses. NASA is warning the public not to let the light show eclipse your safety.