Bonnie Tyler sand achingly of a total eclipse of the heart. The song laments the breakup of two star crossed lovers, but Americans are planning to celebrate another kind of celestial event-The Great American Total Solar Eclipse, which will be rolling into view Monday, August 21. Hopefully, in a city near you. According to the NASA website “all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun.” But only those living in the path of totality which is a narrow area about 70 miles wide, will see a total blackout. Those along that path which stretches from Lincoln Beach, in Oregon to the low country of Charleston, South Carolina, will observe one of the rarest sights in nature when the moon will cover the sun completely for over two minutes. Of course we know the moon is a tiny speck of a rock compared to the giant fireball that lights up our lives each day, but for a few minutes on that day, the moon will be the star of the show.
How you choose to observe this rare event is up to you, but you can believe there will be gatherings, and viewing parties all over the nation. Not wanting to be upstaged, the corona of the sun will be visible as streaks of light are expected to flare up and out in dazzling projections. Observing the sun is never safe, but with the proper viewing glasses or boxes, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
Check your local science center, children’s museum or planetarium for tips and events scheduled for the viewing. Or do like many people will, search Groupon for treats from Harry and David and throw a party of your own. Whether you live in or near the path, an event like this happens rarely and deserves a celebration. If you’re planning a viewing party, you’d be wise to stock up on all the supplies you need by shopping Groupon where you’ll find thousand of items from retailers you shop every day. You can have all the supplies you need delivered to your door in time for the big shebang, and carry on with your business. And don’t forget to order wine and cheese when you shop Harry and David. After experiencing the momentary drop in temperature the eclipse will cause, you’ll want to raise a glass in gratitude to the king of wine and food as it reappears. For without the sun, we’d just be one cold stone.