The dark times ahead
A lot of people are thinking twice about travelling to the US these days, but there’s one big event that hasn’t happened south of the border since 1776 that will draw some people this August 21: the total solar eclipse. Total solar eclipses occur when the new moon comes between the sun and earth, casting the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, on our humble planet. Scientists and historians have dubbed 2017’s eclipse the “Great American Eclipse” because its path of totality will lie completely within the continental US and no other country. The eclipse will begin in Oregon at 10:15am and then move diagonally through 12 states before ending in South Carolina at 2:49pm (see the map above for details). Cities and towns in the path of the moon’s umbra will have their summer day turn dark, cool, even eerie. Still, never look directly at the sun, eclipsed or otherwise, without protective eyewear. Another thing you might need? The Vistabule campervan (from US$18,000). Hotel rooms within the eclipse’s path of totality are already selling out. The Vistabule features a huge overhead window perfect for skygazing. eclipse2017.nasa.gov.
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