The total solar eclipse, AKA: Great American Eclipse, scheduled to darken the daylight hours on August 21, has been widely publicized as a once-in-a-lifetime event. NASA has confirmed the importance of the upcoming event by launching a live viewing website option and a multi-hour television program, Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA.
A total solar eclipse, visible at least in part from all continental United States, has not been seen in 99 years, so NASA has gone to great lengths to ensure it is captured from every possible vantage point.
Since some of the very best views will literally be out-of-this-world, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station are going to be involved too. In fact, eleven spacecraft, at least three of which are NASA’s, and more than 50 high-altitude balloons, will each capture a unique position for the celestial spectacle.
According to NASA, 14 states will experience more than two minutes of total darkness in the middle of the day!
All of North America will be able to experience at least some portion of the solar eclipse for two to four hours. NASA’s team wants to make sure that you view the eclipse safely.
“Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. In the 70-mile-wide swath of the country that will experience a total eclipse, it’s safe to look at the total eclipse with your naked eyes only during the brief period of totality, which will last about two minutes, depending on your location.”
The total solar eclipse is exciting researchers and novice scientists alike with the opportunity to study the sun in ways never before available. NASA hopes to encourage more home scientists to learn more about the solar system.
Be sure to take advantage of NASA’s coverage of the spectacular eclipse by checking out their special website at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive.