For the first time in 99 years, the United States will witness a total solar eclipse during which the moon, sun and Earth will align perfectly. During the event, when the moon completely covers the sun, day will turn into night for a few minutes. During this time, the sun’s outer atmosphere — the solar corona — which is normally obscure will be visible as a pearly-white halo around the moon’s surface.
When is the solar eclipse?
The solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, for the first time since 1918. The event, which is expected to last for nearly two daylight hours, with two minutes of darkness, will begin at 1.15 pm EDT (10.45 pm IST) and end at 2.49 pm EDT. It is expected to travel through the US, coast-to-coast, at more than 1,500 mph (2,400 kph). According to The Associated Press, it will originate in the North Pacific and end in the Atlantic, covering 8,600 miles (13,800 kilometers) from end to end.
There next solar eclipse, similar to this one, will be recorded in 2024. That one will cover regions of the US from Texas to Maine.
Also read: Total solar eclipse on August 21: Here’s how to watch 4K, 360-degree livestream on CNN. Click here
Who will be able to view it?
The US will be the only country to witness the solar eclipse. Residents of 14 states across the country will be able to experience it, from those in Oregon in the west to South Carolina in the east. However, many people are expected to travel to the region to view it. At the same time, astronauts aboard the International Space Station, will also capture images of the event.
Minneapolis will witness 86 per cent of the sun covered, while Miami will see 82 per cent, Montreal 66 per cent, and Mexico City 38 per cent. Residents of the US who fall outside this region will experience a partial solar eclipse. NASA will host a live broadcast of the event.
“Never before will a celestial event be viewed by so many and explored from so many vantage points from space, from the air, and from the ground,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, was quoted as saying by AFP.
(With inputs from agencies)