Countdown Begins: The Great American Eclipse Is 98 Days Away And It Is Not Just Any Other Eclipse

First Posted: May 15, 2017 05:00 AM EDT

A total solar eclipse known as the Great American Eclipse will occur on Aug. 21, 2017. It is about 98 days away and this is not just an ordinary solar eclipse.

The last total solar eclipse happened on June 8, 1918. It has been 99 years since the disappearance of the Sun occurred that crossed from Washington to Florida.

Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College in Massachusetts, said that in solar eclipse, the Sun is so bright that even 99 percent of it is enveloped by the Moon, the 1 percent is still bright enough to make the sky blue. On the other hand, during a total solar eclipse, the Moon will completely darken the face of the Sun. This causes the daytime sky to darken by a factor of about 1 million. It will last for only a few minutes, according to Los Angeles Times.

The path of totality will have crossed a 60-mile-wide arc across the United States. It will begin in Oregon at 10:15 a.m. local time and will end in South Carolina about an hour and a half later on Aug. 21, 2017. This will be a totally new and rare experience of the solar eclipse.

Matt Penn, an astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, said that this will be really a unique feeling, standing in the shadow of the Moon. The crickets will start to chirp and birds will roost. Meanwhile, the chickens will do bizarre things. These are all the reactions of the dark phenomenon, as noted by Airs Association.

Once the Moon blocked the Sun, it will have two shadows, namely the umbral and penumbral. The umbral shadow is a small shadow that will cast on the planet Earth, in which the people could perceive a total eclipse. Meanwhile, in the penumbral shadow, people could only get a glimpse of a partial eclipse.

One of the first towns to view the total eclipse is the Salem, Oregon, while Charleston will be one of the last. Cities such as Nashville, Kansas City and St. Louis will have a good chance of perceiving the darkened Sun, according to CNN. 

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