Everyone is preparing for 2017 Solar Eclipse, which is scheduled to happen today, August 21st. The total solar eclipse is considered to be a "once in a lifetime" event because it will be visible from the contiguous United States for the first time since 1979.
The solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth in a perfect alignment. This causes the moon to fully block the sun.
You should never look directly into the sun, so it is important to have the right eye protection. In order to see the eclipse, you will need special-purpose solar filters, also known as "eclipse glasses" so you do not damage your eyes.
It is important to avoid using sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed film or old solar eclipse glasses because 1 percent of the sun's light can damage your retinas permanently.
Every state in the United States will be able to see part of the sun disappear. Oregon will be the first to see the eclipse in totality in the U.S. at 10:15 a.m. PST. From there, the solar eclipse will continue east toward South Carolina at 2:49 p.m. EST.
Overall, 14 states will cross the path of totality experiencing around two and a half minutes of darkness. But Illinois will be the closest to the greatest point of totality with the sun eclipsed for 2 minutes and 42 seconds.
Solar eclipses can be happen up to every 18 months, but you may be wondering why this year's is such a big deal. It is expected to be a total solar eclipse that will be viewable from the U.S., and this is the first time in 99 years for it to be seen from coast to coast!
The difference between the two types of solar eclipses is depending on the orbit of the moon. The solar eclipse can be annular or total. An annular eclipse is when the moon appears smaller than the sun. It passes centrally across the solar disk, leaving a bright ring of sunlight visible. In the total solar eclipse the moon blocks out the solar disk completely, leaving a fibrous halo.
(Photo: Arya Manggala/EyeEm via Getty Images)
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