Most people don’t plan their days off nearly a year in advance. But you don’t want to miss the total solar eclipse next August.
There were a few moments in my childhood when my world got a lot bigger.
Once I was in a car with my parents when they told me to look at a storm a few miles away. I was still young enough to believe that if it was raining, everyone in the world was getting wet. I saw a massive cloud in the distance drenching the town below, but it was a clear, sunny day for me. I could hardly process it.
Another time I was outside with my parents at night. My mother said, “Look closely at the moon. It’s always round, we just can’t see all of it sometimes.” Picture books told me the moon was a crescent, but for the first time, I saw the part of the moon in shadow. Again, I struggled to process this new information.
These two episodes early in my life were turning points that expanded my view of the world (and universe) around me.
The Great American Eclipse
Next year, you can experience a mind-expanding event like those I had when I was a child. The Great American Eclipse, as it has been dubbed, will occur on Monday, August 21st. It will start on the West Coast near Salem, Oregon, and will continue Southeast across the U.S. until it passes over Charleston, South Carolina. For a lot more information, check out the links at the end of this post.
Whether or not you have seen a total solar eclipse, here are five reasons you need to be outside that day:
- It’s rare. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime event. According to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, the U.S. had total eclipses in 1991 and 1979. But the last total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. from the Atlantic to the Pacific was in1918.
- It’s easy. GreatAmericanEclipse.com also states the entire population of the 48 contiguous states is within a day’s drive of the eclipse’s path.
- It’s total. While I’ve never seen a total solar eclipse, I have seen a partial one. It’s not the same – not even close, when I compare my experience with people who have seen a total one.
- It’s inspiring. Nothing captures our imaginations quite like space. It’s immense and mysterious. It inspires awe (because it’s so big) and humility (because it makes our world seem so small).
- It’s transcendent. People who have seen a total solar eclipse struggle to explain it. They know it’s special but they can’t describe it. Like holding a newborn baby or seeing the Grand Canyon, you can read about it but you don’t really know what it’s like unless you’re there. And you can’t see this eclipse unless you plan to take that day off. Do it now!
One important thing to remember: Looking directly at the sun is extremely damaging to your eyes. Just don’t do it. There are several tricks you can use to see the total solar eclipse without harming your eyes. In future posts, I’ll highlight some of the best ways you can see the eclipse safely.
If you’re living the visual lifestyle, one thing you do is celebrate vision. What better way than to see something you never have? Make plans today to see next year’s total solar eclipse.
Question: Have you ever seen a solar or lunar eclipse? Please tell me about it in the comments below.
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For more information on The Great American Eclipse, check out these links: