On Aug. 21, the moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow to race across the heartland of America at some 1,500 mph. It will be moving over 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina and the United States since 1979 will experience its first total eclipse of the sun and in 99 years the first coast-to-coast eclipse.
Over 200 million people live in a drive of 70 mile wide path and the shadow on the moon will cross hundreds of cities and towns, 20 national parks to have expected crowds. It is said by the researchers that it may be watched most, as it will be a history as the best observed solar eclipse.
Passing around 1:15 p.m. EDT over Salem, Oregon, the moon’s shadow will race across Idaho Falls, Casper, Wyoming, most of Kansas City and St. Louis parts before passing over Nashville and then darkening the sky over Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina. The central shadow around 2:48 p.m will move out over the Atlantic Ocean.
NASA has posted various maps, animations and videos showing the eclipse path, including a zoomable pdf and also an interactive map showing the beginning of the eclipse, when it reaches maximum and ends point in the nation. It shows the eclipse duration for each location in totality.
“This is an amazing chance to open the public’s eyes, and to get people thinking about this stunning natural phenomenon happening on the Earth surface, a total solar eclipse, and to incorporate into thinking thats going on in our cosmos,” said a researcher, Angela Des Jardins, at Montana State University.