The once-in-a-lifetime is upon the world. Actually, it is more exclusive to the Unites States than any other place on the world, as they will be able to enjoy the complete spectacle of the eclipse that is happening on August 21. This is also the first ever total eclipse to be visible to the nation since 1979, and will be crossing the country from coast to coast. But that is not all that is special about this particular eclipse. Here are four facts about the total eclipse that should make the wait worth it.
It will be nearly impossible to track the event
While most people in the US will be looking to follow how the eclipse will be moving from one end to the other, it will be quite difficult to track the movement of the eclipse because of the sheer sped at which the moon’s shadow will be moving. One would need to travel at 2,400mph to keep up. The path of the eclipse starts at Madras Oregon at 9:06 am., PST and ends at Columbia, S.C., at 2:44 pm EST. The totality of the eclipse will only last for about two minutes and forty seconds and will be widely viewed by roughly 10 states.
Solar eclipses have been documented since the last 5,000 years by human beings
While solar eclipses are not a new phenomenon and have been doing the rounds across the Earth for millions of years, humans have started noticing and writing about these events over the last 5,000 years, bringing about numerous myths that have been adapted into various traditions an adopted. One popular myth is that pregnant women should be wary of their health during a solar eclipse. Right from the Ancient Irish, to the Greeks, Chinese and the Babylonians, various understanding about solar eclipses have been conjured. The Chinese believed that when eclipses happen, the sun is supposedly “eaten”.
Snakes in the sky
There are numerous wriggly snake-like figures that can be seen appearing near the ground moments before the on-coming of the eclipse. The only explanation that NASA has been able to provide, is that these lines are caused owing to atmospheric turbulence that affects how light passes through the atmosphere.
The next total eclipse like this will only happen after 600 million years
For the next 600 million years, the Earth may not be able to see another total solar eclipse, since NASA believes that the moon will have moved far enough from the Earth during that time that it will no longer be able to entirely cover the Sun. The moon’s orbit is increasing by about 1.5-inches every year. While we will not be seeing total eclipses for a while, partial eclipses will still occur during that time.