Loving the Solar Eclipse

2017 Eclipse map

It boggles my mind to talk with folks who immerse themselves in the nerd life but aren’t excited about the upcoming solar eclipse. I’m mean, it’s space at its most fantastic moment as seen on Earth. If you grew up watching the Enterprise zipping across the stars, flew next to Luke on an X wing, or watched a phone box tumble through a nebula, then you love the very heart and idea of space. If you are old enough to have seen (even on TV) any of the NASA launches and felt mankind rising to its destiny in the stars, then you are part of the love affair with space.

On March 21st, space, or more specifically the sun and moon, are coming over for tea. It’s like having both sets of in-laws coming over for dinner. It rarely happens where we can see it in the US and is always worth the show.

Facts about the Great American Eclipse

It is the first total solar eclipse over the continental US in 38 years (1979) and it crosses our entire country. That means no matter where you live, you can see part of the big event. Most solar eclipses only go across a portion of the country or miss us completely because it is all a matter of timing.  Given that the last total one was in 1979, this means your chance of being in the right place at the right time for the next one in totality in your lifetime isn’t that good if you are over 30.

The totality will be incredible. According to Astronomy Magazine, it will last 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds at Carbondale, Illinois, one of the best places for viewing. Viewers will feel the temperature change and hear a difference in nature as insects and animals become confused about the change in illumination. Other major cities will have great opportunities as well.

Atlanta 97 percent
Boston 63 percent
Chicago 87 percent
Cincinnati 91 percent
Dallas 76 percent
Denver 92 percent
Detroit 79 percent
Houston 67 percent
Indianapolis 91 percent
Las Vegas 72 percent
Los Angeles 62 percent
Memphis 93 percent
Miami 78 percent
Milwaukee 83 percent
Minneapolis 83 percent
New Orleans 75 percent
New York City 72 percent
Oklahoma City 84 percent
Philadelphia 75 percent
Phoenix 63 percent
Pittsburgh 81 percent
Portland 99 percent
Salt Lake City 91 percent
Seattle 92 percent
Washington, D.C. 81 percent
(information from Astronomy Magazine online.)

A Historical Event

I’m not going to hammer the point anymore since the daily news is full of info as well. But consider this. An eclipse of this magnitude near you is magical all on its own. I don’t mean in a Pagan prayer-and-incense kind of way. I mean as an unforgettable life experience. You can say you witnessed the day where the sun turned black for two minutes. Solar eclipses serve as marking places in time. The wheels of history will grind across the land and you can actually be in the moment when it comes together. That doesn’t happen every day. Most of our lives are spent in the meaningless drivel of just getting through one monotonous and unmemorable day at a time. We don’t often realize great historical events before they occur. Yet on Monday, the great Deity will offer a magnificent gift of light and darkness to the world in an event that will become a identifiable point of man’s history.

Isn’t that worth stepping out of the office or home for a few minutes and looking up?

 

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