The 2017 Solar Eclipse
Today, millions of Americans coast-to-coast will give the sun more than the usual attention as we await and (hopefully safely) witness the solar eclipse. Those in the 70-mile wide “path of totality” will have what is reputed to be a particularly extraordinary, awe-inspiring experience. In Washington, viewers will see an 81% eclipse at 2:42 p.m.
I hope everyone will follow the safety guidelines on how to view the eclipse without harming your eyes. NASA’s excellent website on the eclipse provides this information and much more. And I hope everyone who is driving will pay attention to Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) excellent advice on safe travel during the eclipse.
This will be the first Internet Age total eclipse of the sun in the contiguous United States. And this is the first total solar eclipse since 1918 to be viewable from coast-to-coast. It will be the first since “social media” and “smart phones” entered the lexicon and so it surely will be the most photographed and videoed solar eclipse ever.
Not only is the total solar eclipse fascinating and an occasion for people of all ages to learn, it is a cherished opportunity for scientists to study the sun’s corona, the moon and the Earth. The 1919 solar eclipse was utilized to do the first experimental test of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.
It's exciting to experience this rare and remarkable solar eclipse. The sun gives our planet life, brightens our days figuratively as well as literally and as the moon momentarily conceals it on this day, reminds us of the miraculous universe we all live in, together.