A solar eclipse is taking place on August 21, 2017. According to many people, the event is going to be stranger than you think, and nothing beats experiencing it in person to feel the effect on people and animals.
The path of totality (sun completely covered by the moon) cuts across the United States, but a partial eclipse will occur to varying degrees in Canada.
Below are compiled information links about this rare and amazing event.
Wishing you blue skies!
Video by EclipseAmerica.org
The video above comes from the Mystery Science page on Facebook.
If you have kids or students, also check out Mystery Doug‘s page, which shows a “video every week that inspires your students to ask question.”
Solar eclipse explained
Weather.com (The Weather Channel) — What this link covers:
- MacLean’s video (1:42): What You Need to Know About the Solar Eclipse
- Date: August 21, 2017
- Location: North America
- What is a solar eclipse? How does it occur?
- Eclipse terminology
- Umbra (darkest part) casts a shadow called the path of totality, which is about 100 km wide = total eclipse of the sun
- Rare event: first total eclipse that will trace the lower portion United States from coast to coast since 1918
- Path of totality in the US and partial eclipse percentages in Canada. Victoria, BC is the major Canadian city that will come closest to the total eclipse, with 90% of the sun eclipsed by the moon
- How to view the eclipse safely (all Canadians will need eclipse glasses since the eclipse will not be total)
- Next total solar eclipse occurs on April 8, 2024 (see that path in Canada)
Why is a total solar eclipse such a big deal?
Curiosity.com: a big deal — What this link covers:
- Darkness in the middle of the day: eerie
- The rarest common event
- Don’t burn your eyes out (see tips on protective eye wear)
- NASA glossary (terminology and definitions)–scroll to bottom
- Totality: the coolest part of the whole event
Your 2017 total solar eclipse instruction manual
Curiosity.com: instruction manual — What this link covers:
- How to protect your eyes
- Smartphone app
- How you can help NASA study the eclipse
- City events, including
- South Carolina Philharmonic in Columbia performs John Williams’ classic movie themes while the eclipse approaches totality at the Star Wars Musiclipse. The orchestra will be led by “Jedi Conductor” Morihiko Nakahara.
Eclipse 2017 page: multiple articles on the solar eclipse
Millions to experience darkness in the middle of the day: Here’s why
The Weather Network: path and times — What this link covers:
- Path of totality in United States
- Partial eclipse times for Canada
- Guide to safety
What you will see in the United States
Space.com: maps and information — What this link covers:
- Maps for US locations
- Eclipse information
What Canadians need to know
Global News Edmonton: video, maps, where to watch — What this link covers:
- Video: How Canadians will experience the solar eclipse and how to watch it
- Maps of totality in the US and percent coverage in Canada
- Where Canadians can go to watch the event
August 21 partial eclipse viewing times in cities across Canada
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (MDT)
Edmonton will see a partial eclipse with 74% coverage.
Eclipse begins at 10:24 a.m.
Mideclipse at 11:35 a.m.
Eclipse ends at 12:49 p.m.
Watch the solar eclipse live on August 21
3 ways to make your own pinhole projector
Tips to take eclipse photos (and not destroy your phone)
News: The Weather Network: viewing the eclipse — What this link covers:
- Path and viewing times of partial eclipse in Canada
- Safe viewing: eclipse glasses, #14 welder’s glasses, pinhole camera
- Taking pictures: how to use your cell phone camera
Animals get confused during an eclipse
“The birds behave as if the disappearance of the sun means evening, and the return of the sun means morning — in time-lapse of course,” Max Planck Institute ornithologist Wolfgang Fiedler told Deutsche Welle. Crepuscular animals, on the other hand, tend to become active at dusk, which is why the eerie darkness of an eclipse might bring out crickets, frogs, bats, and owls.
That means that if you witness an eclipse, you’ll want to keep your ears open just as wide as your eyes. As the moon overtakes the sun, birdsong will likely go silent, and you might hear the chirps of crickets and the buzz of bullfrogs instead.
(Read more / source: Curiosity.com: Animals In An Eclipse Get All Sorts Of Confused)
The eclipses that changed history
Curiosity.com: A Shadow Over Human History — What this link covers:
- May 28, 584 B.C.E. – The End of a War
- March 19, 33 C.E. (or maybe November 24, 29 C.E.) – The Crucifixion of Jesus
- November 24, 569 C.E. – The Birth of Muhammad
- August 2, 1133 C.E. – King Henry’s Eclipse
- May 3, 1715 C.E. – Edmund Halley Makes An Accurate Prediction
- February 12, 1831 C.E. – Nat Turner’s Rebellion
- May 29, 1919 C.E. – The General Relativity Eclipse
Albert Einstein became a global celebrity nearly overnight when his Theory of General Relativity predicted that when the sun was dark, astronomers would be able to see the light of the stars behind the sun being bent by its gravity. In one stroke, humanity gained a new understanding of the fundamentals of the universe.
- First photograph of a solar eclipse
The very first photograph of a solar eclipse was taken by famed daguerrotypist Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski in 1851. At the time, images could only be captured on copper plate, and only after long periods of exposure. So Berkowski had to time his shot just right — and when he did, he not only got the eclipse, he also captured the plumes of light of caused by solar prominences all around the rim.
- Archived eclipse photographs dating back to 1869
The High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, CO, is home to an archive of eclipse photographs going back to 1869. It’s an incredible collection, and though Einstein’s 1919 eclipse isn’t included, the 1922 eclipse that reconfirmed his theory is.
The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Will Be A Scientific Research Free-For-All
Curiosity.com: scientific research — What this link covers:
- Scientific experiments, corona, ionosphere
- CHECK OUT THE STUNNING ECLIPSE ABOVE THE CLOUDS PHOTO!
The next total solar eclipse will run through Canada on April 8, 2024
Totality will be visible in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador.
I grew up in this tip of southern Ontario. In 2024, this is where I’ll need to be!
Header image from Dreamstime.com.