When is it and how can I see it in the UK and US?

What’s happening?

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will witness an eclipse of the sun for the first time in 99 years, where the Moon will pass in front of the Sun casting darkness across swathes of the Earth’s surface.

Dubbed the Great American Eclipse, the moment will see the Sun, the Moon and the Earth become perfectly aligned in a once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle seen from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

10 amazing places in America to watch the 2017 solar eclipse

Who will see it?

Everyone in North America, parts of South America, Africa and Europe – including the UK – will see at least a partial solar eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun.

However, 14 states across the United States will experience a total solar eclipse with more than two minutes of darkness descending in the middle of the day over the course of 100 minutes.

More than 12 million Americans live inside the path of totality and more than half of the nation live within 400 miles of it. Millions more are expected to travel to cities along the path to witness the phenomenon. 

Eclipse path of totality in black. 14 states across the United States will experience it.  Credit: Nasa

What areas will see total blackout?

Anyone within the path of totality will see the sky become dark for several minutes as the moon completely covers the sun. The path is relatively thin, around 70 miles wide, and stretches from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.

It will first be seen at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 PDT, with totality beginning at 10:16 PDT.

Over the next 90 minutes, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and end near Charleston, South Carolina at 14:28 EDT.

The lunar shadow will leave the US at 04:09 EDT.

Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

Solar eclipse 2017, in pictures

What time can I see the total eclipse?

Here are the mid-eclipse times for some of the major towns and cities along the path of totality, according to Nasa. All times are local. 

  • 10:17 – Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon, Oregon
  • 11:34 – Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • 11:44 – Casper, Wyoming
  • 13:00 – Grand Island, Lincoln Nebraska
  • 13:08 –  St Joseph, Missouri
  • 13:09 – Kansas City, Missouri
  • 13:14 – Columbia, Jefferson City, Missouri
  • 13:18 –  St Louis, Missouri
  • 13:28 – Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • 13:28…

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