August 21, 2017
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and sun.
A partial solar eclipse is seen when the sun is only partially obscured while totality is achieved when the sun is completely covered.
Totality provides the more dramatic and memorable viewing over the partial phase.
Solar eclipses can only occur during a new moon and on average happen every 18 months. However, most are not visible over highly populated areas of the earth as it did on August 21, 2017.
The last solar eclipse seen in the United States in 1979 cast a shadow over five states while in 2017 the lunar shadow crossed twelve states.
The 2017 solar eclipse stretched from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic. The last time that happened was in 1918, ninety-nine year earlier.
For the millions of Americans who thrilled to the sight of this total solar eclipse, the wait for the next one that can be seen in the United States comes only seven years later, on April 8, 2024!