Weather Wise Kids: What is the Great American Eclipse?

Sara, 12:  Why is this summer’s eclipse such a big deal?

Well Sara, this summer, stars will appear in the daytime sky as darkness falls across America.  On August 21st, the sun will disappear behind the moon.

A total solar eclipse… it will sweep across the United States for the first time in 99 years!  Astronomers are calling it the Great American Eclipse.

The last total eclipse for us was all the way back in June of 1918.  A total solar eclipse happens once every 18 months, but only a tiny part of the world can see it.  This is why it’s so rare this summer.

The best places to see it includes parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.  The closest spot for us is Columbia, South Carolina, where the eclipse will begin at 1:03pm and end at 4:06pm.  Totality will begin at 2:41 and end at 2:44, so it doesn’t last long.  But it’s a few minutes that many eclipse watchers have been waiting for…for a long, long time.  Hotels are booked coast to coast along the path.

You may want to reserve your spot too because the next one isn’t until April of 2024.






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