What are you doing next Monday afternoon? Watching the solar eclipse, perhaps?
NASA is, of course, the best source for information about the upcoming event, but we can break it down for you.
What they’re calling the Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies across the country, from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles wide.
This phenomenon happens when our view of the sun is blocked by the moon. When the moon lines up between the sun and Earth, the moon will cast a shadow onto Earth. This is what we on the ground observe as a solar eclipse.
This will be the first total solar eclipse crossing the US from coast to coast since 1918, making it a once-in-a-lifetime event for most folks.
Lucky for us in Apex, NC, we’re just beyond that line, meaning we’ll see approximately 93% of the sun blocked by the moon.
If, like us, you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, here are some ideas for where you might watch this truly awesome event unfold: http://www.wral.com/11-events-in-raleigh-the-triangle-to-catch-the-2017-summer-solar-eclipse/16848738/
Keep in mind, skywatchers, you should NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness.
Even if you can’t see it in person, most local news stations, and even some national cable stations, as well as dozens of websites (including the NASA link above!) will allow you to watch the sun disappear for a few minutes from the comfort of your home.