What's So Special About the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017?

tootsieharveystoriesStarred Page By tootsieharveystories, 27th Aug 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3_i5jqp7/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Idaho

Just some highlights to the Solar Eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017.

The Great American Solar Eclipse - August 21, 2017

This month, Americans were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime event as morning turned to night and darkness swept across the USA. It was as if the moon had swallowed up the sun, giving Americans a treat to the rarely-visible corona—the ghostly halo of light around the Sun. This is the first Total Solar Eclipse to be visible on the mainland of the US since 1918. As temperatures dropped the animals began their nightly rituals when the US came into the Moon’s shadow.

Social Media Captures the Event

As millions of viewers flocked to the pathway of the Total Solar Eclipse social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, were flooded by photos of the event. If you lived close enough, or found yourself able to drive to one of the locations of this 4,000-kilometers-long pathway within the US, you were treated to a welcome treat to see the moon block the sun on Monday, August 21, 2017. And you won’t be able to see it again until 2025!!!!

What Is a Total Solar Eclipse?

A Total Solar Eclipse is when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, blocking the bright disk. It happens once every year or two somewhere in the world, despite being a rare sight, since 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in oceans causing most to miss land. The Moon’s shadow has swept across isolated deserts, like the Sahara, and remote mountaintops, like the Sierras, and even war zones like Syria. On August 21, 2017, the Moon’s shadow could be seen across the 4,000-kilometer-long-strip-120-kilometer-wide path of solid, accessible ground.

The Total Solar Eclipse touched US ground at around 10: 16 a.m. PST near Oregon’s Depoe Bay. As it raced across the Beaver State at a speed of 2,700 kilometers/hour, it left Oregon just 10 minutes and 52 seconds after it entered the state, as it continued through 12 states and 3 national parks before it finally ended at Cape Island, South Carolina at around 2:49 p.m. EST—90 minutes after entering US soil. What a treat for millions of Americans who flocked to the regions within the pathway just to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Why Astronomers Are So Curious about This Event?

While astronomers have studied solar eclipses for years, each one is different, according to astronomer, Greg Pasachoff, Williams College, who has viewed over 65 solar eclipses in 58 years—34 being total.

Pasachoff visited Patagonia, Southern Argentina in July 2017, to study the annular solar eclipse, where the Moon doesn’t cover the Sun’s disk, but leaves a ring of fire.

2016 found Pasachoff visiting Reunion Island, a French Island of the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and Ternate, a Spice Island, near Eastern Indonesia.

Pasachoff travels the world to see these seldom-seen solar eclipses just to view the corona, in hopes of discovering the Sun’s secrets like space weather. Due to solar storms that can pummel the Earth, as the Sun spits several solar flares in a day, releasing 10 million times of energy of a volcanic eruption—it’s super-charged bubbles of plasma into space a thousand kilometers per second can hit the Earth, and pose a threat to astronomers aboard the International Space Station. Using power grids, they are dependent upon electricity and if a huge solar flare can cause major damage, according to Pasachoff. Pasachoff thinks he can get a better understanding of the intricate relationship between the Sun’s magnetic field and the corona to help precautions against space weather.

Pasachoff visited Salem in August to view the Sun’s corona for the few minutes it allows—a little time to enjoy the eclipse. Thanks to automation, Pasachoff can spare a few minutes to view the eclipse instead of having to look at it through equipment.

Most Shared Event!!!!!

The Great American Solar Eclipse is probably one of the most shared events with millions tweeting, sharing, instagramming and photographing for the hour and a half it lasts. So if you were one of the lucky ones who live near or was able to drive to see this once-in-a-lifetime event, this was a treat to watch!!!!! I hope you enjoyed it!!!!!

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