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The Awesome Totality


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The Awesome Totality

On August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor across the United States of America. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun, and the Moon casts a shadow over the Earth.  During a total eclipse, all sunlight is blocked; during a partial eclipse the sunlight is only partially obscured.

On August 21 the path of the moon’s umbral shadow that produces the totality begins in the northern Pacific and follows a path across the U.S. from west to east through parts of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. The Moon’s penumbral shadow produces a partial eclipse visible from either side of this path and will be visible across most of the North America.

A solar eclipse always takes place within one fortnight (two weeks) of any lunar eclipse. For instance, in 2015, the total solar eclipse on March 20 came one fortnight before the total lunar eclipse of April 4. The partial solar eclipse on September 13, 2015 occurred one fortnight before the total lunar eclipse of September 28.

So in 2017, on the night of August 7, two weeks before the total eclipse, a partial lunar eclipse will occur.

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At Homestead National Monument of America totality will occur at the following time:

UTC Time: 18:06

Duration: 2m37s

Sun Position: 610

The path of the Umbral Shadow

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When you visit us for the totality event, the sun will present these exciting images:

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The Sun’s corona is an aura of plasma that surrounds the sun and extends millions of kilometres into space. The word “corona” is a Latin word meaning “crown.”

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Sometimes it is possible to see activity on the surface of the sun during a totality event.

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Visitors may even catch a glimpse of the Sun’s Diamond Ring, a visual phenomenon that happens during a total solar eclipse. From the umbra shadow, dots of light appear around the disc of the lunar shadow. When only one dot of light remains – for just a few moments – the view of the eclipse resembles a diamond ring. The ring is produced as the sun’s less bright corona layer remains dimly visible.

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Come to Homestead National Monument of America on August 21, 2017 to watch the total solar eclipse and enjoy fun solar related activities. Weather in late August in Nebraska is hot and humid. Come prepared to enjoy the heat by bringing plenty of sunscreen and water, a hat, and solar sunglasses. Solar sunglasses are needed for solar eclipse viewing and are available for purchase at the Homestead Bookstores. Seating will be provided, but feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

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Header image from CanStock Photo. Eclipse map/figure/table/predictions courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC. Corona and diamond ring images (taken of totality events in Australia and Norway) courtesy of Derryl Barr.