Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017
|Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017|
Totality as seen from Simpsonville, South Carolina
|Type of eclipse|
|Duration||160 sec (2 m 40 s)|
|Max. width of band||115 km (71 mi)|
|(P1) Partial begin||15:46:48|
|(U1) Total begin||16:48:32|
|(U4) Total end||20:01:35|
|(P4) Partial end||21:04:19|
|Saros||145 (22 of 77)|
|Catalog # (SE5000)||9546|
The solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, dubbed "The Great American Eclipse" by the media, was a total eclipse visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. As a partial solar eclipse, it was visible on land from Nunavut in northern Canada to as far south as northern South America. In northwestern Europe and Africa, it was partially visible in the late evening. In Asia it was visible only at the eastern extremity, the Chukchi Peninsula.
Prior to this event, no solar eclipse had been visible across the entire contiguous United States since June 8, 1918; not since the February 1979 eclipse had a total eclipse been visible from anywhere in the mainland United States. The path of totality touched 14 states, and the rest of the U.S. had a partial eclipse. The area of the path of totality was about 16 percent of the area of the United States, with most of this area over the ocean, not land. The event's shadow began to cover land on the Oregon coast as a partial eclipse at 4:05 p.m. UTC (9:05 a.m. PDT), with the total eclipse beginning there at 5:16 p.m. UTC (10:16 a.m. PDT); the total eclipse's land coverage ended along the South Carolina coast at about 6:44 p.m. UTC (2:44 p.m. EDT). Visibility as a partial eclipse in Honolulu, Hawaii began with sunrise at 4:20 p.m. UTC (6:20 a.m. HST) and ended by 5:25 p.m. UTC (7:25 a.m. HST).
This total solar eclipse marked the first such event in the smartphone and social media era in America. Information, personal communication, and photography were widely available as never before, capturing popular attention and enhancing the social experience.
Future total solar eclipses will cross the United States in April 2024 (12 states) and August 2045 (10 states), and annular solar eclipses—wherein the Moon appears smaller than the Sun—will occur in October 2023 (9 states) and June 2048 (9 states).
- 1 Visibility
- 2 Other celestial bodies
- 3 Other eclipses over the United States
- 4 Total eclipse viewing events
- 5 Viewing from outside the United States
- 6 Media and scientific coverage
- 7 Counterfeit eclipse glasses
- 8 Eye damage
- 9 Planning
- 10 Post-eclipse traffic problems
- 11 Impact on solar power
- 12 Commemorative stamp
- 13 Videos
- 14 Gallery
- 15 Related eclipses
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 Further reading
- 19 External links
The total eclipse had a magnitude of 1.0306 and was visible within a narrow corridor 70 miles (110 km) wide, crossing fourteen of the contiguous United States: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It was first seen from land in the U.S. shortly after 10:15 a.m. PDT (17:15 UTC) at Oregon's Pacific coast, and then it progressed eastward through Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; Lincoln, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; Columbia, South Carolina about 2:41 p.m.; and finally Charleston, South Carolina. A partial eclipse was seen for a greater time period, beginning shortly after 9:00 a.m. PDT along the Pacific Coast of Oregon. Weather forecasts predicted clear skies in Western U.S. and some Eastern states, but clouds in the Midwest and East Coast.
The longest ground duration of totality was 2 minutes 41.6 seconds at about Giant City State Park, just south of Carbondale, Illinois, and the greatest extent (width) was at near the village of Cerulean, Kentucky, located in between Hopkinsville and Princeton. This was the first total solar eclipse visible from the Southeastern United States since the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970. Two NASA WB-57F flew above the clouds, prolonging the observation time spent in the umbra. A partial solar eclipse was seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including all of North America, particularly areas just south of the totality pass, where the eclipse lasted about 3–5 hours, northern South America, Western Europe, and some of Africa and north-east Asia.in
Other celestial bodies
During the eclipse for a long span of its path of totality, several bright stars and four planets were visible. The star-system Regulus was visible slightly to the west of the Sun. Mars was 8 degrees to the right, and Venus 34 degrees right. Mercury was 10 degrees left, and Jupiter 51 degrees left.
Other eclipses over the United States
This was the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since that of July 11, 1991—which was seen only from part of Hawaii—and the first visible from the contiguous United States since 1979. An eclipse of comparable length (up to 3 minutes, 8 seconds, with the longest eclipse being 6 minutes and 54 seconds) occurred over the contiguous United States on March 7, 1970 along the southern portions of the Eastern Seaboard, from Florida to Virginia.
The path of totality of the solar eclipse of February 26, 1979 crossed only the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Many enthusiasts traveled to the Pacific Northwest to view the eclipse, since it would be the last chance to view such an eclipse in the contiguous United States for almost four decades.
Some American scientists and interested amateurs who wanted to experience a total eclipse participated in a four-day Atlantic Ocean cruise to view the solar eclipse of July 10, 1972 as it passed near Nova Scotia. (This is referenced in the Carly Simon hit song "You're So Vain" in the lyric, "Then you flew your Lear Jet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the Sun.") Organizers of the cruise advertised in astronomical journals and in planetarium announcements, emphasizing the rarity of the event.
The August 2017 eclipse was the first with a path of totality crossing the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the U.S. since 1918. Also, its path of totality made landfall exclusively within the United States, making it the first such eclipse since the country's declaration of independence in 1776. Prior to this, the path of totality of the eclipse of June 13, 1257, was the last to make landfall exclusively on lands currently part of the United States.
The path of the 2017 eclipse crosses with the path of the upcoming total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, with the intersection of the two paths being in southern Illinois in Makanda Township at Cedar Lake, just south of Carbondale. An area of about 9,000 square miles, including the cities of Makanda, Carbondale, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Paducah, Kentucky, will thus experience two total solar eclipses within a span of less than seven years. The cities of Benton, Carbondale, Chester, Harrisburg, Marion, and Metropolis in Illinois; Cape Girardeau, Farmington, and Perryville in Missouri, as well as Paducah, Kentucky, will also be in the path of the 2024 eclipse, thereby earning the distinction of witnessing two total solar eclipses in seven years.
The solar eclipse of August 12, 2045 will have a very similar path of totality over the U.S. to the 2017 eclipse: about 400 km (250 mi) to the southwest, also crossing the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the country; however, totality will be more than twice as long.
Total eclipse viewing events
- Corvallis – The Corvallis campus of Oregon State University hosted "OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience", a weekend-long celebration of the eclipse. A watch party was also hosted on campus the day of the eclipse.
- Keizer – The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a Class A baseball team, played a morning game against the visiting Hillsboro Hops that featured the first ever "eclipse delay" in baseball history.
- Huntington – Historic Farewell Bend State Recreation Area hosted the RASC: Yukon Centre (Yukon Astronomical Society) and the RASC: Okanagan Centre. Solar viewing and presentations on the eclipse were given along with a dark-sky presentation
- Madras – The city sponsored a four-day Solarfest at two locations.
- Prineville – Symbiosis Gathering hosted a global eclipse gathering dubbed Oregon Eclipse.
- Rickreall – The Polk County Fairgrounds organized a series of events and an eclipse gathering.
- Salem – The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry hosted an event at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.
- Craters of the Moon – The National Monument and Preserve hosted NASA presentations, evening star parties hosted by the Idaho Falls Astronomical Society, high altitude balloon launches by the USC Astronautical Engineering department and NASA, and presentations by the New Mexico Chapter of the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project.
- Idaho Falls – Free entertainment and educational seminars and an eclipse-watching event at the Museum of Idaho (an official NASA viewing site) and elsewhere, and a free eclipse-watching event at Melaleuca Field.
- Rexburg – Brigham Young University Idaho offered a series of eclipse-related educational events.
- Weiser – The city sponsored a five-day festival prior to the eclipse.
- Casper – The Astronomical League, an alliance of amateur astronomy clubs, held its annual Astrocon conference, and there were other public events, called Wyoming Eclipse Festival 2017.
- Fort Laramie – Fort Laramie held an eclipse viewing event, which included a Special "Great American Eclipse" Program.
- Alliance – Entertainment and educational seminars were offered. ABC News reported live from Carhenge during totality.
- Auburn – Nemaha County Hospital hosted an eclipse viewing event, including sharing safety tips from Lifetime Vision Center.
- Grand Island – Stuhr Museum hosted an eclipse viewing event, including the launch of a NASA eclipse observing balloon.
- Beatrice – Homestead National Monument of America – Events were held with representatives from NASA on Saturday, Sunday and the day of the eclipse.
- Lincoln – At Haymarket Park, the Lincoln Saltdogs, an independent baseball team in the American Association, defeated the Gary SouthShore RailCats 8-5 in a special eclipse game, with 6,956 in attendance. The game was paused for 26 minutes in the middle of the third inning to observe the eclipse. The Saltdogs players wore special eclipse-themed uniforms that were auctioned off after the game.
- St. Louis – David Tipper hosted his Tipper & Friends 4321 electronic music event at Astral Valley Art Park featuring 5 days of music, art, and eclipse viewing.
- Kansas City – A 5-mile (8 km) bicycle ride from downtown KCMO (where totality only lasted about 30 seconds) to Macken Park in North Kansas City (where totality lasted 1 minute 13 seconds) was organized by KC Pedal Party Club, a local Meetup group.
- Columbia – The Cosmo Park and the Gans Creek Park were open for the eclipse. There was a watch party on campus for the students of the University of Missouri, and the MU Health Care system released eye safety information.
- Lathrop – The city celebrated its 150th anniversary with an eclipse festival.
- Potosi – Hora Eclipse, an Israeli folkdance camp coordinated with the eclipse, was held at YMCA Trout Lodge and Camp Lakewood, near the Mark Twain National Forest. More information at the event's website, especially its post-mortem page.
- Parkville – TotalEclipseofthePark – August 20 educational program featuring NASA Glenn Research Center Hall of Famer Lynn Bondurant, '61, and August 21 watch party organized by Park University.
- St. Clair – An event organized by the St. Clair City Chamber of Commerce.
- St. Joseph – An event organized by Front Page Science was held at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.
- Carbondale – Southern Illinois University sponsored many eclipse related educational events, including the two day Crossroads Astronomy, Science and Technology Expo, and viewing at Saluki Stadium. Amtrak ran a special train, the Eclipse Express, from Chicago to Carbondale. NASA EDGE was there broadcasting live from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a four-hour and thirty-minute show (11:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. EDT).
- Carterville – A three-day rock festival called Moonstock was headlined by Ozzy Osbourne, who performed during the eclipse.
- Goreville – View the eclipse with the University of Illinois Astronomy Department.
- Atchison – Benedictine College hosted thousands in its football stadium. There were students from schools from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma attending, plus numerous other guests who heard from, amongst others, astronomers from the Vatican Observatory.
- Bowling Green – Western Kentucky University hosted thousands of K-12 students in its football stadium. At Bowling Green Ballpark, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a Class A baseball team, played an eclipse game against the visiting West Michigan Whitecaps.
- Hopkinsville – A four-day eclipse festival was held at Jefferson Davis State Historic Site.
- Athens – The City of Athens hosted "Total Eclipse of the Park" at Athens Regional Park, including entertainment, food, and vendors.
- Clarksville – Austin Peay State University presented several educational events, including an appearance by astronaut Rhea Seddon.
- Cookeville – Tennessee Technological University hosted a solar eclipse viewing party at Tucker Stadium. Cookeville hosted special events Saturday-Monday.
- McMinnville – celebrated the eclipse by hosting BLACKOUT 2017, an eclipse viewing event held in the city square. In addition to the viewing, a selection of food trucks and musical acts which features The Pink Floyd Appreciation Society band who performed Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety prior to the totality event.
- Memphis – At AutoZone Park, the Memphis Redbirds, a Class AAA baseball team, played an eclipse game against the visiting New Orleans Baby Cakes.
- Nashville – offered many special events, including the Music City Eclipse Science & Technology Festival at the Adventure Science Center. The Italian Lights Festival hosted the largest Eclipse Viewing Party in Nashville, a free NASA-Certified Eclipse Event held at the Bicentennial Mall. Two astrophysicists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory emceed the countdown.
- Bryson City – Planetarium shows were offered, as well as rides on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to an eclipse location.
- Cullowhee – The eclipse was visible in totality, and classes were cancelled for several hours during the first day of classes at Western Carolina University.
- Rosman – Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) hosted a viewing event. The event at PARI has garnered international attention and the visitors included amateur astronomers.
- Athens – Viewing at Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia.
- Blairsville – Get off the Grid Festival on three days preceding the eclipse.
- Elberty County - Approximately 400 people gathered at the Georgia Guidestones.
- Anderson - Viewing at the Green Pond Landing on Lake Hartwell with food trucks, astronomer, and music. Unfortunately clouds blocked the sun at the time of totality.
- Charleston - The College of Charleston hosted NASA's "eclipse headquarters" broadcast as part of an afternoon eclipse viewing celebration on the green behind the campus library.
- Clemson – Viewing at Clemson University.
- Columbia – The South Carolina State Museum hosted four days of educational events, including an appearance by Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke. At Spirit Communications Park, the Columbia Fireflies, a Class A baseball team, played an eclipse game against the visiting Rome Braves.
- Greenville – Viewing at Furman University. Events include streaming coverage from NASA, educational activities, and live music. At Fluor Field, the Greenville Drive, a Class A baseball team, played an eclipse game against the visiting West Virginia Power.
- Sumter – Viewing at Dillon Park. Eclipse viewing glasses given away for free.
Viewing from outside the United States
A partial eclipse was visible across the width of Canada, ranging from 89 percent in Victoria, British Columbia to 11 percent in Resolute, Nunavut. In Ottawa viewing parties were held at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. In Toronto, viewing parties were held at the CNE and the Ontario Science Centre
Mexico, Central America, Caribbean islands, South America
A partial eclipse was visible from Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, and ships and aircraft in and above the adjacent oceans, as well as the northern countries of South America such as Colombia, Venezuela, and several others.
In northwestern Europe, the eclipse was only visible partially, in the evening or at sunset. Only those in Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Portuguese Azores archipelago saw the eclipse from beginning to end; in the rest of the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, and Portugal, sunset occurred before the end of the eclipse. In Germany, the beginning of the eclipse was visible just at sunset only in the extreme northwest of the country. In all regions east of the orange line in the map, the eclipse was not visible.
Media and scientific coverage
A large number of media outlets broadcast coverage of the eclipse, including television and internet outlets. NASA announced plans to offer streaming coverage through its NASA TV and NASA Edge outlets, using cameras stationed on the ground along the path of totality, along with cameras on high-altitude balloons, jets, and coverage from the International Space Station; NASA stated that "never before will a celestial event be viewed by so many and explored from so many vantage points—from space, from the air, and from the ground." ABC, CBS, and NBC announced that they would respectively broadcast live television specials to cover the eclipse with correspondents stationed across the path of totality, along with CNN, Fox News Channel, Science, and The Weather Channel. The PBS series Nova presented streaming coverage on Facebook hosted by Miles O'Brien, and aired a special episode chronicling the event—"Eclipse Over America"—later in the day (which marked the fastest production turnaround time in Nova history).
Other institutions and services also announced plans to stream their perspectives of the eclipse, including the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Elephant Sanctuary of Hohenwald, Tennessee, the Slooh robotic telescope app, and The Virtual Telescope Project. The Eclipse Ballooning Project, a consortium of schools and colleges that sent 50 high-altitude balloons into the sky during the eclipse to conduct experiments, provided streams of footage and GPS tracking of its launches. Contact with one balloon with $13,000 of scientific equipment, launched under the aegis of the LGF Museum of Natural History near Vale, Oregon, was lost at 20,000 feet (6,100 m). Given that the balloon was believed to have burst at 100,000 feet (30,000 m) it could have parachuted down anywhere from eastern Oregon to Caldwell, Idaho (most likely) to Sun Valley, Idaho; a $1,000 reward is offered for its recovery.
The National Solar Observatory organized Citizen CATE volunteers to man 60 identical telescopes and instrumentation packages along the totality path to study changes in the corona over the duration of the eclipse.
In orbit, the satellites Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the International Space Station, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, and Hinode gathered data from the eclipse.
A viewing party was held at the White House, during which President Donald Trump appeared on the Truman Balcony with First Lady Melania Trump. With the sun partially eclipsed, President Trump looked briefly in the general direction of the sun before using solar viewing glasses.
The rapper Joey Badass boasted of watching the solar eclipse without viewing glasses, considering that "our ancestors ain't have no fancy eyewear [and] they ain't all go blind". Unlike the US president, he did not wear viewing glasses during the entire eclipse. Later, he complained of vision problems and had to cancel his Cleveland, Chicago & Toronto shows on the Everybody Tour, due to "unforeseen circumstances".
The eclipse generated reports of abnormal behavior in animal and plant life. Some farm animals including domestic chickens came out from under their coops and began grooming, usually an evening activity. Horses also displayed increased whinnying, running, and jumping after the event. Cicadas were reported to grow louder before going silent during totality. Various birds were also observed flying in unusually large formations. Flowers such as the Hibiscus closed their petals which typically happens at night, before opening again after the solar event.
NASA reported over 90 million page views of the eclipse on its websites, making it the agency's biggest online event ever, beating the previous web traffic record about seven times over.
Counterfeit eclipse glasses
In the months leading up to the eclipse, many counterfeit glasses were put up for sale. Effective eclipse glasses must not only block most visible light, but most UV and infrared light as well. For visible light, the user should only be able to see the Sun, sunglint reflected off shiny metal, halogen bulbs, the filament in unfrosted incandescent bulbs, and similarly intense sources. Determining whether the glasses effectively block enough UV and infrared light requires the use of spectrophotometer, which is a rather expensive piece of lab equipment.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) said products meeting the ISO 12312-2 standard avoid risk to one's eyes, and issued a list of reputable vendors of eclipse glasses. The organization warned against products claiming ISO certification or even citing the same number, but not tested by an accredited laboratory. Another problem was counterfeits of reputable vendors' products, some even claiming the company's name such as with American Paper Optics which published information detailing the differences between its glasses and counterfeits.
Andrew Lund, the owner of a company which produces eclipse glasses, noted that not all counterfeit glasses were necessarily unsafe. He stated to Quartz that the counterfeits he tested blocked the majority of harmful light spectrum, concluding that "the IP is getting ripped off, but the good news is there are no long-term harmful effects." As one example, the Springdale Library in metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, accidentally passed out dozens of pairs of counterfeit eclipse glasses, but as of August 23 had not received any reports of eye damage.
On July 27, 2017, Amazon required all eclipse viewing products sold on its website have a submission of origin and safety information, and proof of an accredited ISO certification. In mid-August 2017, Amazon recalled and pulled listings for eclipse viewing glasses that "may not comply with industry standards", and gave refunds to customers who had purchased them.
Short-term damage includes solar keratitis, which is similar to sunburn of the cornea. Symptoms usually occur within twenty-four hours and include eye pain and light sensitivity.
Long-term or permanent damage includes solar retinopathy, which occurs when the sun burns a hole in the retina, usually at the fovea (the focus of the retina). Symptoms can occur as long as several weeks after the incident, and can include loss of central vision and/or other vision, as well as eye pain and light sensitivity, afterimages, and changes in color vision.
Depending on the severity of damage, vision problems can last for several months or be permanent.
Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, an ophthalmologist in New York, states that, "“If you’re looking at the sun you’re actually focusing, intentionally, the light of the sun onto the spot [fovea] where you want the most precise vision.”
Following a total eclipse in the United Kingdom in 1999, at least 14 cases of permanent damage were confirmed.
One story of solar eclipse danger was illustrated by the case of Mr. Tomososki, who damaged his eyesight when viewing a 1962 eclipse, leaving him with a pea-sized blind spot for the rest of his life. During the 2017 eclipse he warned the country to not make the mistake he did. While some can recover, the danger of an eclipse comes in part because the excitement can override the instinct to not look at the sun.
Officials inside and near the path of totality planned – sometimes for years – for the sudden influx of people. Smaller towns struggled to arrange viewing sites and logistics for what could have been a tourism boom or a disaster.
In the American West, illegal camping was a major concern, including near cities like Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Idaho's Office of Emergency Management said Idaho was a prime viewing state, and advised jurisdictions to prepare for service load increases; nearly every hotel and motel room, campground, and in some cases backyards for nearly 100 miles (160 km) north and south of the path of totality had been reserved several months, if not years, in advance. The state anticipated up to 500,000 visitors to join its 1.6 million residents.
Oregon deployed six National Guard aircraft and 150 soldiers because the influx of visitors coincided with the state's fire season. Hospital staffing, and supplies of blood and anti–snake bite antidote, were augmented along the totality line.
In Oregon, there were reports of hoteliers canceling existing reservations made at the regular market rate and increasing their rate, sometimes threefold or more, for guests staying to view the eclipse. The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) investigated various complaints and reached settlements with affected customers of at least 10 hotels in the state. These settlements included refunds to the customers and fines paid to the DOJ.
Post-eclipse traffic problems
Although traffic to areas within the path of totality was somewhat spread out over the days prior to the eclipse, there were widespread traffic problems across the United States after the event ended. Michael Zeiler, an eclipse cartographer, had estimated that between 1.85 million and 7.4 million people would travel to the path of the eclipse.
In Oregon, an estimated one million people were expected to arrive that the Oregon National Guard was called in to help manage traffic in Madras along US 26 and US 97. Madras Municipal Airport received more than 400 mostly personal planes that queued for hours while waiting to leave after the eclipse.
Officials in Idaho, where the totality path crossed the center of the state, began planning for the eclipse a year in advance. The state Transportation Department suspended construction projects along Interstate 15, which traverses Eastern Idaho, from August 18–22 in order to have all lanes open; their counterparts in neighboring Utah, where many were expected to travel the 220 miles (350 km) north via the highway from the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, did the same. On the morning of the eclipse, many drivers left before dawn, creating traffic volume along I-15 normally not seen until morning rush hour; northbound traffic on the interstate in Box Elder County north of Salt Lake City slowed to 10–15 miles per hour (16–24 km/h). The Idaho State Police (ISP) stationed a patrol car along I-15 every 15 miles (24 km) between Shelley and the Utah border.
After the eclipse, traffic more than doubled along I-15 southbound, with extensive traffic jams continuing for eight hours as viewers who had traveled north into the totality path from Utah returned there and to points south. The ISP tweeted a picture of bumper-to-bumper traffic stalled on the interstate just south of Idaho Falls. Motorists reported to local news outlets that it was taking them two hours to travel the 47 miles (76 km) from that city to Pocatello to the south, a journey that normally takes 45 minutes. Others reported that it took three hours to travel from Idaho Falls to the closer city of Blackfoot, 30 miles (48 km) farther north of Pocatello.
For some northbound travelers on I-15, the Montana Department of Transportation had failed to make similar plans to those in Idaho, scheduling a road construction project to begin on August 21 that narrowed a section of the highway to a single northbound lane, near the exit to Clark Canyon Dam south of Dillon. Though that stretch of highway generally has a traffic count of less than 1,000 vehicles per day, on the day of the eclipse there were over a thousand vehicles per hour at peak times. As a result, traffic backed up as far as Lima, creating a delay of at least an hour for travelers heading northward. Further, as construction had not yet begun, drivers observed cones set up but no workers present on the road. While the state traditionally halts construction projects during high traffic periods, a state official admitted "we ... probably made a bad mistake here in this regard."
In Wyoming, estimates were that the population of the state, officially 585,000, may have doubled or even tripled, with traffic counts on August 21 showing 536,000 more cars than the five-year average for the third Monday in August; a 68 percent increase. One official offered an estimate of "two people in every car" to arrive at a one-million-visitor figure, and others noted that one million was a conservative estimate based on a one-day traffic count of limited portions of major highways. There were additional arrivals by aircraft, plus travelers who arrived early or stayed for additional days. Two days before the eclipse, traffic increased 18 percent over a five-year average, with an additional 131,000 vehicles on the road. Sunday saw an additional 217,000-vehicle increase.
Following the eclipse, more than 500,000 vehicles traveled Wyoming roads, creating large traffic jams, particularly on southbound and eastbound highways. Drivers reported that it took up to 10 hours to travel 160 miles (260 km) into northern Colorado. There was one traffic fatality, and another fatality related to an off-highway ATV accident, but in general there were far fewer incidents and traffic citations than authorities had anticipated.
In Tennessee, the Knoxville News Sentinel described the traffic problems created by the eclipse as the worst ever seen in that part of the state. One backup along Interstate 75 reached 34 miles (55 km) in length, between Niota and the Interstate 40 interchange at Farragut. A spokesman for the state's Department of Transportation allowed that the traffic jams were the worst he had seen in six and a half years on the job, noting that accidents had aggravated the already heavy traffic flows, attributed the I-75 congestion to Knoxville-area residents heading for the totality path at Sweetwater and returning during what was the city's normal afternoon rush hour.
Before the eclipse, state officials had described their traffic expectations as equivalent to that generated by the Bonnaroo Music Festival, the twice-a-season NASCAR Monster Energy Cup races at Bristol or the formerly-held Boomsday fireworks festival. "Maybe they should have considered a tsunami of traffic combining all three of those heavily attended events", the News Sentinel commented. The Tennessee Highway Patrol made sure that "[e]very trooper not on sick leave or military leave or pre-approved leave [wa]s working" the day of the eclipse; the state DOT made sure its full complement of emergency-aid HELP trucks were available as well. Alert signs on the highways also warned motorists not to pull over onto the shoulders to watch the eclipse as it could increase the risk of dangerous accidents and block the path of emergency vehicles.
In North Carolina, the Department of Transportation added cameras, message boards and safety patrols in the counties where the total eclipse would take place, as well as stopping road work. The department warned that due to "unprecedented" traffic ordinary activities requiring driving might prove difficult, and advised people to act as if there were snow.
In Kentucky, particularly around the Hopkinsville area, which was dubbed "Eclipseville, USA", post-eclipse traffic caused extensive delays. The en masse departure of tourists via Interstate 69 as well as the Western Kentucky Parkway resulted in commute times double or even triple of normal. The Hopkinsville-to-Lexington commute under normal circumstances lasts three and a half hours.
Impact on solar power
An eclipse causes a reduction of solar power generation where the Moon shadow covers any solar panel, as do clouds.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation predicted minor impacts, and attempted to measure the impact of the 2017 eclipse. In California, solar power was projected to decrease by 4–6,000 megawatts at 70 MW/minute, and then ramp up by 90 MW/minute as the shadow passes. CAISO's typical ramp rate is 29 megawatts per minute. Around 4 GW mainly in North Carolina and Georgia were expected to be 90 percent obscured.
After the 2017 eclipse, grid operators in California reported having lost 3,000–3,500 megawatts of utility-scale solar power, which was made up for by hydropower and gas reliably and as expected, mimicking the usual duck curve. Energy demand management was also used to mitigate the solar drop.
NV Energy prepared for the solar eclipse months in advance and collaborated with 17 western states. When the eclipse began covering California with partial darkness, which reduced its usual amount of solar-generated electricity, NV Energy sent power there. Likewise, when Nevada received less sunlight, other west coast states supplied electricity to it. During the solar eclipse, the state of Nevada lost about 450 megawatts of electricity, the amount used by about a quarter million typical residences.
On June 20, 2017, the United States Postal Service released the first application of thermochromic ink to postage stamps in its Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp to commemorate the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. When pressed with a finger, body heat turns the black circle in the center of the stamp into an image of the full moon. The stamp image is a photo of the solar eclipse of March 29, 2006 seen in Jalu, Libya. The photo was taken by retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak.
Illustration featuring several visualizations of the event.
(Images where the sun is completely eclipsed by the moon)
Sequence starting at 9:06am, totality at 10:19am, and ending at 10:21am PDT, as seen from Corvallis, Oregon
Totality and prominences as seen from Glenrock, Wyoming
Totality as seen from Columbia, Missouri
Totality as seen from Sweetwater, Tennessee
Totality as seen from Saint Paul, Clarendon County, South Carolina
Totality as seen from Newberry, South Carolina
Beginning of Diamond ring as seen from Glenrock, Wyoming
(Images where the sun is partially eclipsed by the moon)
North Cascades National Park, Washington
San Francisco, California
Far western Nebraska
Maine at 2:41 p.m. EDT before maximum 68% coverage at 2:45 p.m.
Ellicott City, Maryland shortly before maximum eclipse (~80%)
Images produced by natural pinholes
(Images of the eclipse created by natural pinholes formed by tree leaves)
North Cascade mountains (British Columbia and Washington).
Views outside of the US
Astronomers Without Borders began collecting eclipse glasses for redistribution to Latin America for the total solar eclipse occurring on July 2, 2019 and to Asia for the annular eclipse on December 26, 2019.
Solar eclipses 2015–2018
|Solar eclipse series sets from 2015–18|
|Descending node||Ascending node|
|March 20, 2015
|125||September 13, 2015
|March 9, 2016
|September 1, 2016
Partial from Buenos Aires
|February 26, 2017
|August 21, 2017
|150||February 15, 2018
|155||August 11, 2018
|Partial solar eclipses on July 13, 2018, and January 6, 2019, occur during the next semester series.|
Saros series 145
This solar eclipse is a part of Saros cycle 145, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours, containing 77 events. The series started with a partial solar eclipse on January 4, 1639, and reached a first annular eclipse on June 6, 1891. It was a hybrid event on June 17, 1909, and total eclipses from June 29, 1927, through September 9, 2648. The series ends at member 77 as a partial eclipse on April 17, 3009. The longest eclipse will occur on June 25, 2522, with a maximum duration of totality of 7 minutes, 12 seconds. 
|Series members 16–26 occur between 1901 and 2100|
June 17, 1909
June 29, 1927
July 9, 1945
July 20, 1963
July 31, 1981
August 11, 1999
August 21, 2017
September 2, 2035
September 12, 2053
September 23, 2071
October 4, 2089
The metonic series repeats eclipses every 19 years (6939.69 days), lasting about 5 cycles. Eclipses occur in nearly the same calendar date. In addition, the octon subseries repeats 1/5 of that or every 3.8 years (1387.94 days).
|21 eclipse events, progressing from north to south between June 10, 1964, and August 21, 2036|
|June 10–11||March 27–29||January 15–16||November 3||August 21–22|
June 10, 1964
March 28, 1968
January 16, 1972
November 3, 1975
August 22, 1979
June 11, 1983
March 29, 1987
January 15, 1991
November 3, 1994
August 22, 1998
June 10, 2002
March 29, 2006
January 15, 2010
November 3, 2013
August 21, 2017
June 10, 2021
March 29, 2025
January 14, 2029
November 3, 2032
August 21, 2036
Notable total solar eclipses crossing the United States from 1900 to 2050:
Notable annular solar eclipses crossing the United States from 1900 to 2050:
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- http://earthsky.org See 4 planets during the total eclipse.
- "The Great Baja Eclipse", Discover January 1991. p. 90.
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- "Thousands Go West for a Total Solar Eclipse Tomorrow; Data May Aid Energy Research Partial Eclipse for New York Best Types of Film Image of Sun on Screen", The New York Times February 25, 1979. p. 26.
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- "2017Astrocon, Casper, Wyoming". Astronomical League. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
a unique opportunity for professional astronomers to intermingle with knowledgeable amateurs; gathering together to learn from each other and exchange ideas.
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- Crowds at Carhenge in Nebraska eager to view solar eclipse (ABC News, Aug 21, 2017)
- "Eclipse Lunch on the Lawn". Nemaha County Hospital. Retrieved August 22, 2017 – via Facebook.
- "Gem of the Prairie Eclipse Event". stuhrmuseum.org. Stuhr Museum. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017.
- "Total Solar Eclipse Weekend of Events at Homestead National Monument of America – Homestead National Monument of America". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- YouTube: Eclipse 2017: One Nation Under the Sun Published August 27, 2017, (National Monument displayed at 0:58, 4:42 4:53, 6:31; Lincoln baseball game at 0:44, 1:36, 5:47).
- "Eight-run Inning Carries Saltdogs Over Railcats in Special Solar Eclipse Game". Lincoln Saltdogs. August 21, 2017.
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- "Show me totality COMO". Lathrop Eclipse. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
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- "Total Solar Eclipse/150 Years Festival". Lathrop Eclipse. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- "Eclipsing Park University". Park University. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- "Darkening of the Sun – Eclipse 2017 – St. Clair MO".
- "St. Joseph Eclipse". Front Page Science. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Southern Illinois: eclipse crossroads of America". Southern Illinois University Carbondale. May 5, 2016.
- Johnston, Bob (August 7, 2017). "Amtrak announces 'Eclipse Express' special to southern Illinois". Trains.
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- Carley, Sean (March 28, 2017). "Remainder of "Moonstock" eclipse festival lineup announced". Daily Egyptian. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- "View the Eclipse with University of Illinois Astronomers in Goreville, IL". University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
- "The Great American Eclipse Viewing at Benedictine College". Benedictine College.
- "WKU Eclipse Events". Western Kentucky University. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
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- "A Monumental Solar Eclipse Festival: August 18 – August 21". Solar Eclipse Hopkinsville, KY. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- "Total Eclipse of the Park". athenschamber.org. Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- "Eclipse: Events". Austin Peay State University. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Eclipse 2017". Oakley STEM Center. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Blackout 2017". mainstreetmcminnville.org. Main Street McMinville. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- "Eclipse-Themed Programs & Events". Music City Solar Eclipse. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- "Nashville's Italian Lights festival is official NASA location for solar eclipse". Music City Eclipse at Italian Lights Festival. WKRN News2. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "Solar Eclipse 2017 Viewing Event, Free Music City Eclipse Party". Music City Eclipse at Italian Lights Festival. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- "The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Will Pass Through the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina". Bryson City North Carolina. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
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- "Eclipse leaves thousands breathless at UGA's Sanford Stadium". WXIA. August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- "Get Off the Grid Fest". Get Off the Grid Fest. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- Eclipse awes those gathered at Georgia Guidestones, by Wayne Ford (Athens Banner-Herald, Aug 21, 2017)
- "NASA to Broadcast Eclipse from .CofC". The College Today. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
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- "Eclipse at Furman". Furman University. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
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- "Bonnie Tyler Will Sing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' During the Actual Total Solar Eclipse". Space.com. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- "Total Eclipse of the Sun" (PDF).
- "Local Circumstances of the partial eclipse in Anadyr".
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- "The Eclipse 2017 Umbra Viewed from Space". NASA. August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
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- "'Am I crazy for watching the eclipse with no glasses?' Rapper Joey Bada$$ is forced to pull out of his live tour after staring directly at the sun". Daily Mail Online. August 24, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- "The Solar Eclipse Had a Spooky Effect on Nature". Live Science. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
- "The solar eclipse was viewed over 90 million times on NASA website". The Economic Times. August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
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- "How to Tell If Your Eclipse Glasses or Handheld Solar Viewers Are Safe". Solar Eclipse Across America – August 21, 2017. American Astronomical Society. February 23, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2017. Includes photos of genuine and fake eclipse glasses.
- Pittman, Travis (August 18, 2017). "Here's How Fast Your Retina Could Burn Looking at Eclipse Unprotected". Denver, Colorado: 9 News.
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- "Signs of Potential Eye Damage After Watching Solar Eclipse, According to an Eye Care Expert". NBC Chicago. August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017. Questions and answers with Linda Chous, a doctor and "chief eye care officer for UnitedHealthcare".
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- Will eye damage follow the Great American Eclipse?, Los Angeles Times, Amina Khan, August 22, 2017. Dr. Avnish Deobhakta is an ophthalmologist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
- Don't let the solar eclipse destroy your eyes: Experts explain signs, symptoms of vision damage, Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer.
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- Serven, Ruth (July 13, 2017). "Total solar eclipse offers small towns a tourism boom—if they can get ready". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- Richy, Brad (July 29, 2017). "Letter to Eclipse Communities" (PDF). Idaho Office of Emergency Management.
- Moeller, Katy (August 17, 2017). "Oregon eclipse traffic is already backing up. Idaho has an app for that.". The Idaho Statesman. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- "Oregon governor authorizes National Guard for solar eclipse". KBTX-TV. Associated Press. July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- Lynne, Terry (August 10, 2017). "Eclipse 2017: Hospitals stock up on blood, rattlesnake bite antidote". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Hale, Jamie (3 April 2017). "Oregon hotels unapologetic, silent about widespread eclipse cancellations". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- Guevarra, Ericka (28 July 2017). "Customers Get Payments From Oregon Hotels That Canceled, Raised Prices For Eclipse". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- Bach, Jonathan (31 July 2017). "Grand Hotel to pay customers for eclipse reservation problems". Statesman Journal. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- Erickson, David (August 23, 2017). "Eclipse: Construction causes huge I-15 traffic jam; Montana official apologizes". Missoulian. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
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- Mitchell, Russ (August 20, 2017). "Solar eclipse gridlock: It was so busy in Madras, Ore., they called in the National Guard". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Harbager, Molly (August 21, 2017). "Eclipse jams traffic on runways, not just roads, with hundreds of planes in Madras waiting". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- "I-15 projects to shut down for eclipse". KIFI-TV. August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Mims, Bob (August 21, 2017). "Traffic into Utah jammed as eclipse fans head home on Interstate 15". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Carr, Ada; Breslin, Sean (August 21, 2017). "Solar Eclipse Traffic: Interstates Busy as Final Travelers Hit the Road". The Weather Channel. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Sunderland, Nate (August 21, 2017). "Bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-15 as eclipse viewers leave Idaho". KSL-TV. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- "Solar Eclipse Traffic Counts". Idaho Transportation Department. August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Peterson, Christine (August 23, 2017). "More than a million people may have visited Wyoming for eclipse; one person came by sea plane". Casper Star-Tribune Online. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- "Traffic increases 18 percent over a five-year average on Saturday as Aug. 21 eclipse nears". Wyoming Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Rainey, Libby (August 22, 2017). "Wyoming solar eclipse traffic jam was one for the record books". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Sanderson, Shane (August 23, 2017). "Highway patrol releases new details about Colorado motorcyclist killed in Eclipse traffic". Casper Star-Tribune Online. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Sanderson, Shane. "Eclipse keeps highway patrol busy, but local authorities respond to fewer incidents than expected". Casper Star-Tribune Online. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Jacobs, Don (August 21, 2017). "Worst traffic snarls ever seen in East Tennessee.". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
- "Western NC ready for eclipse, but roads clogged". Winston-Salem Journal. Associated Press. August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Williams, Chris (July 22, 2017). "Welcome to 'Eclipseville,' Hopkinsville, Ky, USA". WHAS. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
- Stunson, Mike (August 22, 2017). "The rare eclipse was memorable. The ride home was something they want to forget.". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
Once we left Hopkinsville ... It took us 10 hours to go 210 miles, and we didn't return to our home in Lexington until just after midnight.
- Helmer, Katrina (August 21, 2017). "As solar eclipse ends, traffic stalls heading out of Hopkinsville". WDRB. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
As of 10 p.m., drivers were still on the roads trying to get back to Louisville more than seven hours after leaving Hopkinsville.
- "A Wide-Area Perspective on the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse" (PDF). North American Electric Reliability Corporation. April 2017. p. 20. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
The analysis performed in this study showed no reliability impacts to bulk power system (BPS) operations.
- "2016 Long-Term Reliability Assessment" (PDF). North American Electric Reliability Corporation. December 2016. p. 70. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
causes substantial effects to wide-scale solar generation within a very short amount of time. The output generated by PV/solar systems will be either diminished or drastically reduced within the window of this event. Sudden widespread diminishing of solar irradiance may heavily affect areas with large amounts of utility scale PV energy installations or behind-the-meter DERs.
- "Solar eclipse on August 21 will affect photovoltaic generators across the country – Today in Energy". U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). August 7, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
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- Pyper, Julia (August 21, 2017). "Looking Beyond the Eclipse: How the Historic Event Tested Customer Engagement on the Electric Grid". Retrieved August 23, 2017.
Today’s eclipse is a test run for the electricity community. So we have exactly the same challenge on a regular basis within the grid because of solar.
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- Bakich, Michael E. (2016). Your Guide to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series. New York, NY: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-27630-4.