The Great American Eclipse is almost here. Come Monday morning, a total solar eclipse happens across the United States within a 70 mile wide path from Oregon to South Carolina.
And what makes it historically such a big deal?
The last time there was a total solar eclipse that could be seen from somewhere in the U.S. was almost 40 years ago in 1979. That one could only be seen from the northwestern U.S.
But the last time there was a total solar eclipse that could be seen from coast to coast across the U.S. was 99 years ago in 1918.
So that’s why not only scientists are travelling to where there will be a total eclipse of the sun, but so are a lot of people from all over the country who want to see it and be able to tell their grandchildren they saw it.
Those of us who don’t travel to see the total eclipse will still experience a pretty good partial eclipse on Monday with the sky expected to be noticeably not as bright,
With hotel rooms being hard to find in the path of the total solar eclipse hard to find and the national shortage of approved safety glasses for watching a solar eclipse, most of us will be watching the shadow of the eclipse through the traditional pinhole method or most likely watching it on our smart phones, tablets or desktop computers thanks to the people at places like NASA and the Weather Channel and elsewhere.
That’s something that was impossible to do way back in 1918 and was only possible in science labs in 1979m in the pre-personal computer age.
And be sure to heed the warnings not to look at the sun directly or through binoculars or telescopes. That’s dangerous. But with today’s technology, you can safely watch the Great American Eclipse.
In San Diego, the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is offering eclipse viewing and information.