200 million people are within just one day's drive of the solar eclipse. What you need to know
Carbondale, Ill., the home of Southern Illinois University, is promoting itself as the “Eclipse Crossroads of America.”
The entire U.S. will see at least a partial eclipse, but to see the total eclipse, you must be inside the 70-mile-wide path of totality.
Of course, never look directly at the sun, except during the brief moments of totality. NASA said the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses," which are now available from many locations.
Welding goggles are also an option.
Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
The eclipse will start on the West Coast in Oregon and trace a 67-mile wide path east across the country, finally exiting the East Coast in South Carolina.
The first point of contact will be at Lincoln Beach, Ore., at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality begins there at 10:16 a.m. PDT. Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through 12 states. The total eclipse will end near Charleston, S.C., at 2:48 p.m. EDT.
From there, the lunar shadow finally leaves the U.S. at 4:09 p.m. EDT.
At any given location, the total eclipse will last for about 2 or 3 minutes.
It will pass directly over cities such as Salem, Ore.; Idaho Falls; Lincoln, Neb.; Kansas City; Nashville; and Columbia and Charleston, S.C.
Places within a one- or two-hour drive of the eclipse include Portland, Ore.; Boise; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Rapid City, S.D.; Omaha; Topeka; St. Louis; Louisville; Knoxville, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Atlanta; and Charlotte.
Outside the narrow shadow track, a partial eclipse will be visible from all of North America, parts of South America, western Europe and Africa, according to eclipse expert Fred Espenak.
Folks who miss this eclipse won't have to wait too long for the next one: A total solar eclipse will be visible across portions of the southern and eastern U.S. on April 8, 2024.
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