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Astronomy Talk:Solar Eclipses from the North Pole to the Equator and Next Up:USA

Topic: Solar Eclipses from the North Pole to the Equator and Next Up:USA

Speaker: Donald Gardner, Ph.D.


There are two to five solar eclipses every year, but total solar eclipses occur on average only once every 18 months. In addition, totality occurs only in a narrow path on the surface of the Earth, so totality reoccurs at any given place only once approximately every 400 years on the average.  The last two total eclipses were challenging to see because they were at extreme locations on the Earth at the North Pole and at the equator. The next time the moon casts a shadow however will be here on August 21, 2017 where it will be racing across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. The most dramatic features of an eclipse occur only during totality which include viewing the chromosphere, the corona, Baily’s beads, the diamond ring, shadow bands, and a” 360 degrees sunset”. Totality however is something that has to be experienced to be fully understood. In this presentation, images and video taken from the icy glaciers of Svalbard and from the volcanic islands of Indonesia will be shared followed by a discussion of the upcoming eclipse in America. One needs to be in the 70 mile wide path to experience the most amazing and awe inspiring aspects of totality.  Strategies for how to view this upcoming eclipse, safety precautions, and best places to go will be reviewed.

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