Mark your calendars! The biggest and best solar eclipse in American history arrives in a little under a year, and plans for celebrations, parties and festivities are already well underway.
On Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast, according to NASA. It will be the first total eclipse visible only in the USA since the country was founded in 1776.
It will also be the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the entire country in 99 years, NASA says. And not since 1970 has there been an opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in such easily accessible and widespread areas of the nation.
Organizers of the Oregon SolarFest are calling it "a rare, mind-blowing cosmic experience," while Nashville promises visitors "a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event."
A solar eclipse is when the shadow of the moon shifts over the Earth, blocking out the sun.
This is much rarer than a lunar eclipse when the Earth's shadow covers the Moon. If you miss this one, the next won't happen until 2024, and it won't be anywhere near the Northwest. This is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The eclipse will start on the West Coast in Oregon and trace a 67-mile wide path east across the country, finally exiting the East Coast in South Carolina. At any given location, the total eclipse will last for around 2 or 3 minutes.
It will pass directly over cities such as Salem, Ore., Idaho Falls, Lincoln, Neb., Kansas City, Nashville, and Columbia and Charleston, S.C. Places within a one- or two-hour drive of the eclipse include Portland, Ore., Boise, Cheyenne, Rapid City, Omaha, Neb., Topeka, St. Louis, Louisville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Charlotte.
In Idaho Falls, the local astronomical society has fielded calls from Scotland, Germany and Japan about ideal eclipse viewing locations and lodging in the area, according to the Post Register newspaper.
CLICK HERE for the exact path of the moon's shadow.
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