Total Solar Eclipse 2017

On Monday August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire continental United States. In the U.S., the path of totality began on the coast of Oregon around 1:15pm EDT and end on the coast of South Carolina around 2:50pm EDT. This total shadow is called the umbra.

A partial shadow is called the penumbra and was seen over a much larger area and for over an hour before and after the umbra (see map for maximum fractions and timing of solar blockage). The penumbra entered the northwest coast around 12:00pm EDT and exited the Florida peninsula around 4:20pm EDT.

In south Florida, the penumbra entered the area at 1:25pm EDT, reached a peak of 80% solar blockage at 2:58pm EDT, and exited the area at 4:20pm EDT.

From a weather satellite's view, the shadow is very obvious as it makes its way eastward across the country, and this five-hour loop of images captured the eclipse from above!

Just before reaching the west coast of the U.S., the shadow passed north of Major Hurricane Kenneth as seen in this spectacular image.

From our vantage point on Earth, a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon just barely blocks the entire blinding disk of the sun... no more, and no less (during a total solar eclipse, viewers are treated to a brief spectacular naked-eye view of the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona). It is an amazing natural coincidence that the moon is just the right size and distance from Earth that its disk appears to be the same size as the sun's disk!


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