On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will blot out the sun starting at 2:31 p.m. for viewers in areas within an hour’s drive of Oak Ridge.
The 70-mile-wide path of totality will extend from Oregon to South Carolina, passing through Nashville, Murfreesboro, Sparta, Cookeville, Crossville, Sweetwater, Athens, and Clingman’s Dome, contributor Carolyn Krause wrote in this story.
The National Weather Service in Morristown has published a map showing the eclipse path and showing the duration of the total solar eclipse in parts of East Tennessee. See that map above. Many locations will see more than two minutes and 30 seconds of totality, the Weather Service said.
Another map, which was published by the Washington Post, is interactive and allows you to follow the path of the solar eclipse across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, with details about points along the way, including Nashville and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See that Washington Post map here.
The solar eclipse happens when the moon passes directly between the sun and the earth, and the moon’s shadows fall upon our planet’s surface. A solar eclipse occurs only at the new moon phase, when the moon is only partially illuminated by the sun, Krause said.
The last time the moon’s shadows in a total solar eclipse crossed our nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic was almost a century ago, Krause said. On June 8, 1918, the path of totality ran from Washington State to Florida. The next total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. will occur on April 8, 2024.
Note: NASA says the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. See this NASA website page for more information.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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