Travel to See the Great American Solar Eclipse in the USA

The US is preparing for a great natural drama with a total solar eclipse that begins on the Pacific coast and ends on the Atlantic coast. The total solar eclipse on Monday runs diagonally across the US to Charleston, South Carolina, on the east coast. Millions hope for a cloud-free sky on Monday. For weeks, USA has been eagerly awaiting the Great American Eclipse.

On August 21, 2017, the moon's core shadow will cover the entire sun. The total solar eclipse on the North American continent can be seen from 14 states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina. Montana and Iowa are only stripped of the moon's core shadow.

If you are in the right place at the right time, you can experience a total solar eclipse as the sun is then completely covered by the moon for at least two minutes. This is the only time when you can directly see the sun with the naked eye. It is the first ever coast-to-coast total solar eclipse on the continent for 99 years. In the core zone, many schools are closed on 21 August. Dozens of small and big Eclipse festivals are planned.

We get a small part of the eclipse of the sun, in parts of Europe, Africa and South America as partial darkness. Nevertheless, there will also be a lot of spectators here, because the eclipse can be pursued through many Live streams on Monday evening. The US space agency Nasa, on the other hand, wants to chase the shadows with two special jets at an altitude of 15 kilometers. Even wedding ceremonies during the dark are planned.

annular solar eclipse wallpaper

In the narrow zone of total darkness live about twelve million US citizens. Millions will be arriving there on Monday. There is probably no place where the solar eclipse which will be visible for the first time in nearly 40 years from the mainland of the USA can be better observed than at a music, art, or food festival. That is why we have put together a list of the best vantage points in the country:


The total solar eclipse can be seen from the coastal city of Newport in the morning at around 10:15 (local time). First you can experience how the city of Albany is immersed in total darkness for almost two minutes, then head straight to the Northwest Art & Air Festival. At this popular art festival, countless colorful hot air balloons will rise around the clock. If you do not want to be on your own, you can enjoy the view from the ground, admire numerous art exhibitions, or find out everything about the car at a vintage car show.


Next, the eclipse of the sun is spread over much of Idaho. You can climb the 3,860 m high Borah Peak, the highest mountain of the federal state. This breathtaking view will surely not be forgotten! Do you want to see the solar eclipse and get to know the western flair of the USA better? Then go to the annual Caldwell Night Rodeo. The five-day event is considered one of the best outdoor rodeos in the country.


If you want to experience the splendor of nature as the shadow falls on the earth, you should be in the southern part of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The Grand Teton Music Festival takes place in front of the rare natural event, where mainly lovers of classical music will get their money's worth.


The total solar eclipse will cover approximately half of Nebraska, starting in the northwest corner of the US state and later in the southwest. A real secret tip here is to travel to the small villages, from where you can have a particularly good view of the natural event. At the summer Maha Music Festival in Omaha, you will not only have a good view of the total eclipse, but you will also be able to witness live concerts from different bands in the USA.


The total solar eclipse will cut just as the northeast corner of Kansas. So get into one of the communities like Troy, if you do not want to miss the event. If you're already there, you should be at the Roots Festival in Paola. The Americana music (a mixture of folk, blues and country music), dance, art and craftsmanship are the focus of the second day.


The two largest cities in the US state, Kansas City and St. Louis, are just right to watch the solar eclipse. If you already make a trip to St. Louis, you should definitely stay there until the end of August, because then the famous Festival of Nations takes place there. Tens of thousands of visitors travel every year to experience the colorful mixture of multicultural music, dance, games and delicious dishes from all over the world.


At the southernmost peak of the US state of Illinois, the sun is completely covered by the moon for over two minutes. Travel northwards from there, a visit to the Northalsted Market Days in Chicago, one of the largest street festivals in the country.


The shadow of the solar eclipse will be seen in the west of Kentucky, including Franklin and Russelville. When you travel to this US state, you should not miss the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville. You will not be bored, because numerous events from world class riding tournaments, country music concerts to brewery demonstrations ensure unforgettable entertainment.


The solar eclipse can be seen in the middle of the US state of Tennessee. Nashville, which is regarded as an Eldorado for Country Music, is briefly overshadowed. If you are in the area, visit the Grand Ole Opry, one of the country's most popular live music venues, the Country Music Hall of Fame and other exciting musical attractions.


You can see the exciting natural event from many places in the US state. The view from the small town of Clayton is especially spectacular. As soon as the eclipse of the sun is over, take a trip to Atlanta, where you can find many great events like the Decatur BBQ, the Blues & Bluegrass Festival or the Piedmont Park Arts Festival, which is especially appealing for families with children.

North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers the perfect backdrop in the midst of boundless wilderness if you want to watch the total solar eclipse. You should plan enough time to explore not only the park, but also the State Bluegrass Festival, which is not far from it.

South Carolina

Finally, the solar eclipse will be in the center of South Carolina before the event comes to an end at about 2:36 pm (local time) near Charleston in the US. Since it can get very hot during the summer months, you should do the same for the locals and plan a relaxing trip to Hilton Head Island. On the island you can stroll along unspoilt beaches, participate in numerous outdoor activities and pass the time on more than two dozen golf courses.

Where in Europe can you see the solar eclipse on 21 August?

In Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, and UK, the event is to be experienced as partial darkness. in Lisbon, for example, between 19:46 and 21:03, almost one fifth of the sun will be hidden.

Almost every year there is a total solar eclipse somewhere in the world. In a solar eclipse, the new moon shifts from the earth to the sun. In doing so, the moon casts its shadow on certain regions of the earth with the result that the sky darkens there. The moon conceals the sun either partially or in some eclipses also completely depending on whether the so-called core shadow of the moon merely touches the earth or meets its surface. The rare spectacle of a total solar eclipse only occurs in regions over which the core shadow of the moon is moving.

Researchers will look at the spectacle with telescopes from the ground. A total of seven minutes, the jets will be able to observe the phenomenon. Other researchers are traveling with other aircraft, such as a Gulfstream V from the National Science Foundation. From the ground numerous balloons will rise up into higher atmospheric layers while keeping an eye on the darkness. The Montana State Eclipse Ballooning Project wants 57 balloons to rise in 25 places.

In India, a total solar eclipse was last seen in 1995. For a few minutes, the day became night, birds were silent, while bright stars and planets glowed in the daytime sky. The next total solar eclipse in India will not be shown until December 2019. Iceland and Spain get to see the spectacle on August 12, 2026. With the exception of the short total eclipse, Astro fans need a special SoFi glasses with a tested filter.

Solar eclipses have always exerted a special fascination on people. In the past, solar eclipses were interpreted as an ominous sign or as a divine signal. Our ancestors were very anxious about them. In the past, darkness was interpreted as a sign of destiny as the sun was the source of life. The ancient Babylonians knew mathematical rules, with which solar and lunar eclipses could be predicted.

The ancient Chinese believed that in a solar eclipse, a heavenly dragon devours our life-giving central brain. Also in the mythology of South American people and in ancient India monsters were blamed for the frightening experience when the day suddenly becomes a night.

In India, solar eclipses are associated with war and disasters. Any food cooked during a solar eclipse is considered impure and is thrown away or given to the beggars. Temples, as well as shops, close on this occasion. Life on Earth depends on the light and heat that the Sun sends us daily. Its sudden disappearance during an eclipse is considered the most dreadful that one can imagine. This is considered the period of demons.

Pregnant women are made to stay at home and it is considered inauspicious to deliver at that time. The sun's rays are deemed toxic during the eclipse. People take a bath after the eclipse. There were cases of handicapped children buried up to their necks in the sand or mud during eclipses in the hope of curing them. Similar beliefs exist during lunar eclipses. In India, the eclipses are known by the Surya Grahan and the Chandra Grahan.

The Ancient people realized that eclipses are not an exceptional and unique phenomenon but they are repeated with a certain frequency. They then began to record the times of the various phases of the solar eclipse and lunar eclipse with great precision. The main purpose of these observations was to learn to predict the phenomenon and to find correlations with the motion of the Sun and the Moon.

The astronomers of ancient Greece and the Arabs of the Middle Ages measured the times of eclipses seen from the different locations, to determine the differences of longitude. The main historical sources of eclipse that have come to us are mostly from Babylonians, Chinese, Arabs, and Europeans. There is more or less direct evidence from the Mayans, the ancient Egyptians, and even from some prehistoric civilizations.

The Mayans did not possess the knowledge necessary to determine whether a Solar Eclipse was visible in the areas in which they lived. It also seems that the eclipses that were not visible and therefore could not have been observed were, however, foreseen and recorded. In fact, in the Dresden Codex, there are some tables concerning the prediction of eclipses.

In ancient Egypt, the Sun often appears at the entrance to tombs and temples, perhaps to portray the victory of light over the darkness. Sometimes this image also includes two heads of snake and goat horns, which are also symbols of Sol or the Sun.

Many people have developed their own myths and legends about eclipses from ancient times. They often believe that eclipses were the forerunner of some natural catastrophe or the death or defeat of a king. For centuries people have considered eclipses as a terrible and horrible event, a pretense of misfortune. People have performed rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices to exorcize them.

Lunar Eclipse moon wallpaper

A widespread myth is that a dragon devours the Sun during an eclipse. Many cultures have also developed their own methods to counteract the effects of an eclipse. For example, the ancient Chinese tried to make a lot of noise to scare and drive the dragon away by playing drums, squeezing arrows in the air and percolating pots.

In India, people drifted on the knee near a river, believing that this would help the Moon and the Sun defend themselves from the serpent. In Japan, people used to cover the wells during an eclipse, in order to avoid the falling of the poison coming from the dark sky.

There were also more optimistic beliefs about this natural phenomenon. In Tahiti, eclipses were interpreted as the loving attachment of the Sun and the Moon. Even today, some Eskimos and Arctic tribes believe that eclipses are a sign of divine goodwill. The Sun and Moon leave their place in heaven for a short time to see that everything is all right on earth.

When the full moon arrives next Monday, the Partial Lunar Eclipse will not last very long. However, the so-called half shadow will still remain visible for some time. From August 11th to 13th the shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor Stream will reach their annual maximum.

What is a partial lunar eclipse?

In a partial lunar eclipse, the moon enters a part of the Earth's core shadow. The rest is in the half shade. The edge of the shadow cast by the earth is visible as a circular arc on the surface of the moon. At a total lunar eclipse, the moon with its full diameter enters the Earth's core shadow.

Lunar Eclipse moon wallpaper

Where and when can I watch the partial lunar eclipse best?

First of all, the good news. The lunar eclipse on August 7, 2017, can be seen with naked eyes. Of course, you can also take binoculars, which makes the drama more impressive. It is important to look for a place that gives a broad and unobstructed view of the southeast horizon and excludes artificial light sources. If you want to observe the lunar eclipse, you should find a suitable place a few days before. People in larger cities should head towards the east.

In Central Europe, however, the conditions for the lunar eclipse are rather unfavorable. The moon does not appear until the heavenly drama has already come to an end. Those who want to see the lunar eclipse can follow it from large parts of India, Africa, and Asia as well as the Antarctic, Australia and Eastern Europe. However, amateur photographers can capture good picture motifs by the end of the twilight. Due to the lunar cycle, the moon stands at sunset just above the places of sunrise in the twilight of the area.