Here's Why A Total Solar Eclipse Is So Unusual


For those plants in the eclipse's direct path-from OR east to South Carolina-solar-powered generators will find their power source blocked by the moon for up to three minutes, though they will likely be affected to a lesser extent over the entire three hours surrounding the event.

The Great American Eclipse will drape itself over Frostburg, Md., and families can join in on the rare event at the Frostburg State University Multimedia Center and Planetarium.

21 eclipse, operators of giant solar fields from California to the Carolinas will rely on power from fast-start natural gas generators as well as hydroelectric plants and other sources to fill the gaps as the sky darkens. (In the meantime, Vox created an interactive graphic that demonstrates what the eclipse will look like from your zip code.) The next partial solar eclipse viewable from Southern California isn't until October 2023, and with the way things are going here on planet earth, you might just want to g'head and get your celestial-body-viewing jollies now.

If you'd like to enjoy the eclipse at the library, chairs will be set up outside and complimentary coffee will be available.

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun.

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About 80 percent of the solar eclipse will be viewable from Frostburg, with the peak time being around 2:40 p.m. The moon casts a shadow on our planet.

In the US, which will have another full eclipse in 2024, gas will continue to provide a backstop to solar until battery storage becomes cheaper and more widespread.

Naturally, solar-powered generators on the path of totality will be affected the most, as the moon will block all direct sunlight for up to three minutes. Clouds could always spoil the view, so eclipse watchers need to be ready to split for somewhere with clear skies, if necessary. Operators will also use new technologies to control demand when the moon will completely block the sun along a 70-mile-wide corridor stretching from OR to SC. Totality will cross from OR into Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and, finally, South Carolina.

A total solar eclipse can be viewed in the United States at the end of August, for the first time in almost 40 years. Before that, in 1970, a total solar eclipse skirted the Atlantic coastline from Florida to Virginia. But only those within the roughly 70-mile-wide path of totality will see a total solar eclipse. Those within theses states - the zone of totality - will enter complete darkness for around three minutes.

If you were hoping to watch this month's total solar eclipse, you probably know sunglasses aren't going to cut it. We're talking the South Pacific, and Chile and Argentina. For the USA, the next total solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024.