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The Great American Eclispe: August 21, 2017

by Laura Gleason on 2017-08-10T14:39:00-06:00 in GIS, American, Geoscience, Physics

map of Idaho and the path of eclispe totality 2017

The total solar eclipse, this coming August 21st, has been dubbed, "The Great American Eclipse," and for good reason.  The path of totality, when the sun is completely covered by the moon, will cross the length of the contiguous United States in a southeastern arch from the coast of Oregon to the coast of South Carolina.  

According to NASA, the reason the eclipse tracks move eastward is, "because the Moon moves to the east in its orbit at about 3,400 km/hour. Earth rotates to the east at 1,670 km/hr at the equator, so the lunar shadow moves to the east at 3,400 – 1,670 = 1,730 km/hr near the equator. You cannot keep up with the shadow of the eclipse unless you traveled at Mach 1.5."

Here are the local mid-eclipse times for some of the major towns and cities in the U.S. along the path of totality:
10:17 am   Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon, Oregon
11:34 am   Idaho Falls, Idaho
11:44 am   Casper, Wyoming
1:00  pm   Grand Island, Lincoln Nebraska
1:08 pm    St Joseph, Missouri
1:09 pm    Kansas City, Missouri
1:14 pm    Columbia, Jefferson City, Missouri
1:18 pm    St Louis, Missouri
1:28 pm    Bowling Green, Kentucky
1:28 pm    Nashville, Tennessee
2:39 pm    Greenville, South Carolina
2:43 pm    Columbia, South Carolina


In the southeastern portion of Idaho, the cities experiencing the longest duration of totality are Rigby and Rexburg. Midway between these two cities (Lat.: 43.7661° N, Long.: 111.8353° W) is the center of the Total Solar Eclipse:

Duration of Totality: 2m18.2s, Magnitude: 1.014, Obscuration: 100.00%

Start of total eclipse: 11:33:09 am  -  End of total eclipse: 11:35:27 am

Visit this interactive map to learn more about start and end times for specific locations.

On the City of Pocatello's website, there is local information about what to expect during this eclipse event with helpful tips and links.

It is important to protect your eyes when viewing the eclipse with eclipse glasses or viewers that are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard.  To learn more about safely viewing the total solar eclipse, read these safety tips from NASA



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