Solar eclipse visible in Michigan on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

Learn about the upcoming solar eclipse and how to safely view it.

On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, the United States, as well as other parts of the world, will experience a solar eclipse. What is unique about this eclipse is that it is the first time since 1979 the continental U.S. will be in the “path of totality.” The path of totality is a narrow band, approximately 70 miles wide, from Oregon down to South Carolina where there will be a total eclipse of the sun. The eclipse will still be visible outside this range, but it will not be as dramatic.

What is a solar eclipse and when can it be viewed in Michigan?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun and partially or totally blocks the sun’s light, lasting anywhere from several hours to just a few minutes. There are three types of eclipses that can occur: total, partial and annular.

During a total eclipse, the moon, sun and Earth are in a direct line. The sky will become very dark as the moon’s shadow is on Earth, completely blocking out all sunlight. A partial eclipse occurs when the moon, sun and Earth are not in a perfect line and the sun appears to have a shadow over part of it. An annular eclipse happens when the moon is its farthest point away from earth and looks very small. In this case, the moon will not block out all sunlight, but instead looks like a dark disk on the sun.

As the eclipse occurs, the Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals.”

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