The US will see an amazing total solar eclipse in 2017

For the first time in almost 100 years, the eclipse will be visible coast to coast

If images of this week's solar eclipse whetted your appetite for the real thing and you live in the U.S., you don't have long to wait. In August 2017, a total solar eclipse will be seen in a path that crosses the entire country -- the first time in almost 100 years that this has happened.

"The next one's a really good one," said David Hathaway, an astrophysicist at NASA's Advanced Supercomputing Center in Silicon Valley. "For most of the U.S., you're within driving distance of this."

The eclipse will begin at just after 10 a.m. PDT on Aug. 21, when it envelopes Salem, Oregon, into complete darkness. It will travel across the U.S. through Casper, Wyoming, skirt Kansas City and St. Louis, before arriving in Nashville, Tennessee, at 1:30 p.m. CDT and then Charleston, South Carolina, at around 2:45 p.m. EDT.

Hathaway recommends you plan to see it.

"You must," he said. "If you can, you must. It's just such a spectacle in every sense. The sky goes dark in the middle of the day, you see stars, all of the animals know that something is going on, they'll quiet down, and the ones I've been to, all of the people get very quiet."

If that's not reason enough, consider this: It's the first total solar eclipse to be visible in the continental U.S. since 1979, and the next one won't be until 2024. Plus, the country is sure to go eclipse crazy for the day, and you'll regret not having made the effort to see it.

For scientists, total solar eclipses are great occasions to see the Sun's corona. That's the upper level of the Sun's atmosphere and, for reasons no one understands, it is hotter than the area closest to the surface.

A better understanding of the Sun is important because it can affect us like never before. In addition to being a source of heat and light, the Sun regularly blows off particles into the galaxy during events called coronal mass ejections.

"That stuff, when it strikes the near-Earth environment, can take out electronics on satellites, it can produce surge of current through power lines on Earth and take out transformers, take out power, and now that we’re a technological civilization it can really affect us more than it did before because of its effect on our technology," said Hathaway.

So eclipses provide a way to better understand the atmosphere and that could mean a better understanding of the way the Sun works.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NASA

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?