The coming August 21 total solar eclipse is a much rarer and special event than you might have realized. It is literally a once-in-a-lifetime event. Here are 5 things you might want to know about it, where and how to enjoy it.
1. First Eclipse Here in 500 Years
All of the country will see a partial eclipse. But a southeastern diagonal stretch across the country about 70-miles wide from Portland, Oregon to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina are the only places in the world that will see the moon totally eclipse the sun. The point where the eclipse will last the longest is from the northwestern corner of Missouri to the southeastern corner of Tennessee– it will last about two minutes and forty seconds there, starting at about 1:15 central time.
The last time a total eclipse occurred in this area was more than 500 years ago in 1478. The Shawnee, Yuchi and Cherokee Native Americans who populated the area then would have been the people to see it last. The next time one will occur in the same place is in 2566.