For the first time in the country’s history, a total solar eclipse will be visible exclusively to the United States.
This total solar eclipse, when the sun is completely covered by the moon, will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. This rare phenomenon can only be seen in states that reside between Oregon and South Carolina. This means that though Utah won’t be in line of the eclipse’s path of totality, Utahns will be able to catch about 93 percent of the sun being blocked by the moon.
The eclipse will begin at around 10:13 a.m. and will end shortly before 1 p.m. MDT. The moon reaching its peak to block the most sunlight will last a scant two minutes and forty seconds, maximum. Once this occurs, the sky will turn twilight in the middle of the day. Lastly, once the sun is covered and light is decreased, temperatures are expected to drop about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
While observing any eclipse, even ones that mostly cover the sun, it is important to never look directly at it with the naked eye. The only effective way to look up at the sun is by wearing solar viewing glasses. Regular sunglasses cannot replace these and will be damaging to the eyes.
Utahns who want to witness the total solar eclipse and not just a partial one must venture as far north as Idaho Falls, Idaho. Taking the three-hour trip from Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls will have a guarantee of seeing 99.5 percent of the sun completely hidden. For those that are traveling, expect no hotel vacancies around the path of totality, and hurricane evacuation-like traffic; Since the last total solar eclipse that was partially seen from the United States was in 1979, Americans are eager to not miss this infrequent event.