People Are Freaking Out About 2017 Solar Eclipse

It's predicted to be a once-in-a-lifetime event
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2016 3:21 PM CDT
People Are Freaking Out About 2017 Solar Eclipse
A total solar eclipse in Indonesia on March 9.   (AP Photo, File)

It's still 10 months away, but sky gazers are already bursting with excitement—and booking vacations—over what is predicted to be "one of the most spectacular and widely accessible solar shows of our lifetime," per Mother Nature Network. On Aug. 21, 2017, the US will be treated to a total solar eclipse, which is special for a couple of reasons: It's the first in the continental US since 1979. But whereas the 1979 eclipse was visible only to a relative handful of people, the 2017 version will be the first in 99 years to cross the country, from Oregon to South Carolina, meaning many more eyes will have the opportunity to catch it, reports the Washington Post. See an interactive map here, and be warned: Plan now if you'll need to travel for it.

"It's not too early, we promise," notes the post at MNN. Campsites on the route already are booking up, and you can expect the same of hotels as the big day approaches. As for the event itself: "The sun will disappear for about 2.5 minutes, beginning in Oregon about 10:15am local time,” notes the Post, and viewers in South Carolina will get the last glimpse about 90 minutes later. Don't live in Salem, Ore.; Casper, Wyo.; Columbia, SC; or anywhere else on the "totality" path? Don't fret: Live streams will be available and a partial eclipse will be visible in other parts of the country. To make the most of the day, though, you can travel to one of several events, per Astronomy, or book a spot on a tour bus. (It will look something like this.)

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