When is the solar eclipse?
The Great American Solar Eclipse is happening in August 2017.
Solar eclipses happen almost yearly, but what makes this particular eclipse special is that it is a total solar eclipse. That means that, for at least a brief moment, the sun will be completely blocked by the moon. This complete blockage causes the sun to project the moon’s shadow onto the earth’s surface. If you are within that shadow, you will see the total eclipse. If you aren’t in the area covered by the moon’s shadow, you will see a partial eclipse.
The path that the moon’s shadow takes over the surface of the earth is called the path of totality. Typically, this path is out in the middle of the ocean, or over a barren area such as Antarctica. This time, in August 2017, the path of totality cuts all the way across the continental States. That’s what makes this a very special eclipse, lending to the name it’s been given: The Great American Eclipse 2017!