What Canadians can expect during the solar eclipse on August 21

"There are safe and simple and cheap ways to do it, you just have to search it out".

The path of totality, where the moon will completely cover the sun and its corona, will span from Lincoln Beach, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., and pass through portions of 14 states.

The direct path of the solar eclipse is called the path of totality and it will be 70 miles wide.

The next time a solar eclipse will be visible in the USA will be in April of 2024.

All of North America will experience a partial eclipse, though the difference between a full and partial eclipse is "literally the difference between night and day", said astronomer Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society.

Looking directly at the sun is always a bad idea, even if it's partly obscured, which is why everyone watching the eclipse is encouraged to wear protective glasses (not just sunglasses) to avoid injury to their eyes.

Travel groups and many scientists will be heading to Oregon's northwest desert seeking favorable weather for viewing, according to the website eclipsophile.com.

In other words, the August 21, 2017, event is astoundingly rare.

"This is a really unbelievable chance to open the public's eye to wonder and get people to think about the fantastic natural phenomenon on the surface of the earth that is a solar eclipse", said Angela Des Jardins, principal investigator of the Eclipse Ballooning Project at Montana State University.

Pasachoff and Peñaloza-Murillo measured the temperature at a height of about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the ground, and found that the lowest daytime temperature occurred 2 minutes after the end of totality. Once the finger is removed, the eclipse reappears. This delayed transfer of heat could explain the slight delay in the cooling of the air during totality.

As with all solar eclipses, researchers warn the public not to look directly at the sun and to never look at the sun through binoculars or telescopes without proper safety filters.

Some in the USA will even be able to see a total solar eclipse, where the moon will completely cover the sun.

  • Carolyn Briggs