Binoculars? Check. Protective solar glasses? Check. A clear view of the sky? Check! You’re ready to watch the total solar eclipse sweeping the nation this month.
August 21, 2017, marks the first total solar eclipse to cover the entire country in 99 years.
Tracing a path from Oregon to South Carolina, the eclipse will only be visible in the United States. It’s predicted to be one of the biggest events of the year, if not the decade. Many hotels in the eclipse’s direct path have been booked for months or years, and celebratory events like viewing parties, telescope workshops and planetarium shows are cropping up all over the country.
If you aren’t in the eclipse’s direct path, you’ll likely still be able to see a partial eclipse (get a better idea of what you’ll see here). But those who can’t see the total eclipse in person shouldn’t worry—universities across the country will be launching 57 balloons equipped with cameras to record and live-stream the eclipse! The Eclipse Ballooning Project has been over three years in the making, and will broadcast the eclipse on NASA TV, YouTube and television stations nationwide.
I’ll definitely be tuning into my first balloon broadcast this month. Will you join the live stream, or are you lucky enough to watch within the eclipse’s direct path?