Anybody who knows me knows that I think astrology is out-of-this-world. I’m a firm believer in “astrology speak,” and I have been seeing a world renowned astrologist for about four years now. So it’s natural that I have had August 21st marked on my calendar - with dozens of sun and moon emojis - for days. In light - or lack thereof - of Monday’s Total Solar Eclipse - I wanted to round up some stellar facts about the big event for those that are curious and/or for the people who may have forgotten to look up the most basic part of the big day amidst all of their viewing party preparations. Let’s just say.. it’ going to be space-cial.
A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of the sun during its orbit around the earth. As the moon passes over the sun, it causes a shadow to cross over Earth. Unlike lunar eclipses, solar eclipses are brief — only lasting for a few minutes.
For a total solar eclipse to occur, the moon must be directly between the sun and the earth. That can only happen during one lunar phase: the new moon.
According to NASA, a total solar eclipse is when the sun, moon, and Earth are all directly in a straight line. When they all align, the sky becomes nighttime (totally) dark during the day. The path of totality is a very big deal as very specific areas will be able to experience the full effect of the total solar eclipse.
On Monday, August 21st, a total eclipse will be visible across the United States. The last time we were able to see one from the States - excluding Alaska and Hawaii - was February 26, 1979. Monday’s event has taken on the nickname of "The Great American Eclipse."
This year, the "totality" of the eclipse - where the moon blocks the entire sun, leaving only a ring of light behind - will be visible in parts of 14 states. These lucky places include: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Don’t worry, the rest of the United States, parts of Africa, South America and Europe will be able to see the solar eclipse as well.
The eclipse will cross through the United States over the course of an hour and a half. The aforementioned 14 states will be in darkness for approximately two minutes each.
The eclipse will enter the United States at 10:15 a.m. PDT off the coast of Oregon and leave at approximately 2:50 p.m. EDT in South Carolina.
A major force of astrological power, the eclipse will have a nuanced effect on each zodiac sign. Lean more here.
Since the eclipse falls during a Leo time, it's thought to carry with it an energy of confidence, leadership, and play. It will sit 120 degrees apart from Uranus, the planet of change and excitement, on the zodiac chart. AKA - astrologically speaking - now is a perfect time to step confidently into the next phase of your life. Use this as an opportunity to set intentions, reset, renew and welcome change. Change can be a good thing, a very good thing. #agoldlining
Total solar eclipses are made possible by a miraculous symmetry. The sun is exactly 400 times larger than the moon, and 400 times farther from the earth. That’s why these two celestial bodies appear exactly the same size.
You won’t need a telescope to get a great view of this event!
If it's rainy or cloudy in your area, you sadly will not be able to see the eclipse.
NASA hopes to eventually map out the entire eclipse, and it’s calling on everyday citizens for some help. By downloading their GLOBE Observer app, you can get involved by recording data about the eclipse from your perspective.
You can see just how much of the eclipse will pass through your ZIP code with this nifty calculator. It will also tell you how far you’ll need to travel to see a total eclipse.
NASA says smartphones are safe against the sun’s glare, so get out your mobile devices and shoot for the moon! You’re not going to want to forget this occasion!
So next time you're in the area, head in and make your debut to see what you discover!