(KMSP) - On Monday, August 21, 2017 the largest and longest total solar eclipse will pass through the United States for the first time in nearly a century. It will also be the first time since 1979 that any part of the US has gone dark. While Minnesota will not see the total eclipse, over 75% of the sun will be covered by the moon as it passes between North America and our closest star. It won’t be the main event, which is occurring to our south, but a pretty good show can be expected.
12 million people from Oregon to South Carolina will be the lucky ones to get the “path of totality” where darkness will fall on a 70 mile wide path for as long as 2 minutes and 40 seconds. But 5 times that many people are expected to descend on its path to experience something that is breath taking and a once in a lifetime event.
The image above courtesy of space.com
It’s been described as experiencing “the end of the world”. The moon passes in front of the sun and completely blocks out daylight… in some cases, for several minutes. While it’s not pitch black, it is as close to darkness as you can get in the middle of the day. Many walk away stunned, experiencing something that is so unique, that it’s like transporting to another galaxy for a few minutes.
While the 20th century saw just a couple total eclipses on American soil, the 21st century will harbor 8! This first one will be one of just 2 that will go coast to coast. The next total eclipse will follow just 7 years later and will stretch from central Texas to Maine. Unfortunately, a total eclipse will not enter Minnesota until 2099 with the metro’s skies going dark for over 2 minutes.