Where will you be on August 21, 2017 - when a total solar eclipse will be seen from Oregon to South Carolina? Find out what you need to know now to start planning for the big event.
Most readers of Sky & Telescope associate "2017" with the next total eclipse of the Sun visible from the United States. The anticipation for this event is rapidly increasing and warranted — after all, it's been four decades since the Moon's umbral shadow passed through the "Lower 48." But even that one, in February 1979, crossed only a handful of states in the Pacific Northwest.
Not so with the total solar eclipse that's coming on August 21, 2017. The 68-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long path crosses the breadth of the U.S. from coast to coast and touches a dozen states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Weather-wise, August should be a good month for eclipse-viewing across the U.S. The Moon's shadow arrives at a time of year when the peak of the thunderstorm season has passed and sunshine is generous, particularly west of the Missouri River. Although western states offer the most promising weather prospects, with a little care you'll find good eclipse-viewing sites all across the continent.
The cover story of the January 2016 issue of Sky & Telescope provides information such as general weather forecasts to help you assess where you might want to go to witness this grand celestial spectacle. Download the article by submitting your email below.