The United States experienced a breathtaking view of a total solar eclipse yesterday on Aug. 21.
The eclipse’s path of totality started in Oregon around 10:19 a.m. and swept through the nation, ending in Columbia, South Carolina, around 2:41 p.m. Because of its travel through the US, it has been named the “Great American Eclipse.” If an area was not in the path of totality, most could still see the effects of it.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a solar eclipse happens when the moon orbits between the sun and earth. It can happen within three different distances, with annular solar eclipses having the moon passing farthest from earth; partial solar eclipses having the three celestial bodies not exactly lining up; and total solar eclipses, where the moon is closet to the earth and is able to completely cover the sun within a direct line.
Solar eclipses of any variety happen every 18 months but last only a few minutes, unlike lunar eclipses, which last a few hours and happen only twice a year.
People around the states and around the world gathered within the path of totality to experience the power and awe of such an amazing sight. This included people from surrounding states, space enthusiasts from other countries and NASA personnel studying the solar eclipse and its effects. For most, this was a once in a lifetime experience.
However, NASA researched and found that within the 21st century, there will be five additional total solar eclipses in the U.S. These dates include April 8, 2024, March 30, 2033, Aug. 12, 2045, March 30, 2052 and May 11, 2078.
Photo Credit: NASA