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Solar Eclipse by the numbers

Solar Eclipse by the numbers

As the moon obscures the sun on August 21, it will create a twilight experience across the U.S. This moment of up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness-otherwise known as the "Great American Eclipse"-won't be visible in any other country, and the eclipse's path of totality will cross 14 states".

Here's everything you need to know about the sun's (temporary) disappearance on August 21.

What happens during a solar eclipse?

Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes between the earth and the sun in such a way that its shadow falls onto the earth. Even a thin sliver of the sun's disk covers thousands of these light-sensitive cells. According to NASA scientists, the moon's orbit is tilted in relation to the Earth's orbit around the sun, differing by five degrees. They are rare because totality only occurs on a narrow path of the Earth's surface, and in this case, it's a stretch of land 70 miles wide on the great US of A.

Science Central's gift shop is selling solar eclipse viewing cards for $1.99 each to the public and for $1 each for Science Central members.

Time will vary depending on your location.

If you're lucky enough to be in the path of totality, you may notice a change in the sky's hue as the shadow moves closer to you, Young says. (Find out the exact eclipse time for your area here, and we have separate audio stories above and below for those in the path of the total or partial eclipse, respectively.) Also, we want your eclipse plans, stories and photos. "I know of a few universities and trip planners that have been planning on observing the event for five years or more", he said.

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There are usually six or seven total solar eclipses per decade, somewhere in the world.

There are many kinds of solar eclipses.

If you miss the 2017 full solar eclipse, the next one visible in the United States won't be for another seven years.

The farther northeast you travel, the more dramatic the sight: 90.5 percent of the sun will be covered in Jacksonville, while NASA's interactive map shows Pensacola will have 81.5 percent coverage. Staff will pass out free solar eclipse glasses but there is a limited amount of seats.

You should never look at an eclipse with the naked eye, but there are plenty of other unsafe methods to avoid, as well.

Experts recommend being careful when it comes to buying glasses or viewers through a third-party seller, such as Ebay or Amazon.

Ever since I read Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" as a young girl, l have wanted to experience a total eclipse of the sun. Ordinary sunglasses will not work. Viewers can only look at the eclipse with the naked eye during totality.


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