About the Eclipse
Get the Visitors Guide & More! View Travel Guides
August 21, 2017
1:21 PM CDT
A day millions of Americans will see the sight of a lifetime. A total solar eclipse will span the US from Oregon to South Carolina. Day turns to night for two minutes, and the moon will completely block the sun as the sun's corona is revealed.
What Causes a Solar Eclipse?
Solar eclipses occur because the Sun is just about the same apparent size in our sky as the Moon. While the Sun is actually about 400 times larger in diameter than the Moon, the Moon is also about 400 times closer than the Sun; therefore, the Sun and the Moon appear to be about the same size in our sky. From our vantage point the Moon has an apparent size that just barely covers the Sun completely, yet is not too large that the Sun's atmosphere, its corona, is eclipsed as well.
How Often Does a Total Solar Eclipse Happen?
The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast was in June 8, 1918.
For more detailed information on the eclipse, visit one of these great websites: