Local science organizations offer help to prepare for the solar eclipse

Solar eclipse image courtesy of The Children's Museum
Solar eclipse image courtesy of The Children's Museum

13 August, 2017

In eight days, a spectacular cosmic experience will sweep across the United States, transfixing Americans for the first time in the internet era. (Find out the exact eclipse time for your area here, and we have separate audio stories above and below for those in the path of the total or partial eclipse, respectively.) Also, we want your eclipse plans, stories and photos.

"Very cool, but not as dramatic as a total solar eclipse, because the corona (the outermost layer of the sun's atmosphere, visible only during a total eclipse) will not become visible", said Zeiler. This is the first total eclipse over the lower 48 states since 1979. It actually slows down to 1,462 miles per hour when it reaches Kentucky because the moon's shadow hits the earth more directly there. Your eyes don't have pain receptors, so you won't know if you're burning them. People weep, shake and unleash primal screams. For Kansas? It will be 28 years from now and that one will only cross the southwest part of the state. It will change us, but the question is, how?

The path of totality will stretch along a route from OR to SC. For a few minutes on August 21, the moon will orbit perfectly between the earth and the sun causing total darkness to fall over 14 states, while others outside the path of the total eclipse will see a partial solar eclipse.

But every so often, there's a narrow window when the Earth, sun and moon align.

But there is always more to learn, so it should come as no surprise that a few experiments to document animal behavior are in the works for the Great American Eclipse. Line it up and you'll see a projection of the eclipse image through hole onto the second plate.

"When was the last time we really had a big national shared event that wasn't a tragedy?"

Syphers said there will be "plenty of seats facing just the right direction" and ample free parking in EWU's P-12 lot. You experience the total solar eclipse.

There is some historical precedent for this in America. The next total solar eclipse after August 21 will be on April 8, 2024.

A partial solar eclipse in South Tangerang, Indonesia in March 2016.

Hopkinsville, Kentucky could be the closest location for "Totality" to the Hoosier state.

Expect a lot more cars on interstates 77, 40 and 85 as people travel to the mountains or SC, the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles says.

Events in the region include an "Eclipse Con" festival, concerts and tailgate parties.

Americans from all sides of the political and cultural spectra will be there, because while the path of totality will primarily cross Donald Trump country - OR and IL are the only states in the path that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 - the event is expected to attract tourists from all over the world, including many American travelers who will leave cities for rural areas.

"This is historical, and I would encourage everyone to see it", said Nathan Podoll, M.D., assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). "It just reminds us that we are these miniscule little beings on a piece of rock floating on a rock in outer space, so we better get along".

The Liberty Lake Municipal Library is hosting a solar eclipse watch party at Rocky Hill Park.

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls recommends focusing on the human experience of watching the eclipse.

NASA also went ahead and created this map, which combines the likelihood of clear skies with the eclipse path of totality. Plus, so many live within eight hours driving distance of it.

Of all the eclipses he's seen, though, this one has him the most excited - not just because of its path across the US, but because of its potential to inspire a whole new generation of science. In Flagstaff, up to 70 percent of the Sun will be blocked.

He knows from experience.

Elise Ricard, public programs supervisor at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, recalled the eerie silence that accompanied the start of a total eclipse early on a June morning in 2012.

Educators have been pushing STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - for a while, but traditional education can't hold a candle to the impact of a total solar eclipse.

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