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Tuesday
Jul182017

The Great American Eclipse Sun Valley Idaho August 21, 2017

 


On August 21, 2017, Ketchum and Sun Valley residents and visitors will experience a Total Solar Eclipse as the moon moves fully in front of the sun. This extraordinary moment marks the first total eclipse of the sun visible from all 48 contiguous United States since 1979 and the first visible from coast to coast in the US since 1918.

There will be several eclipses that pass over the US in the 21st century. This is only the first, but it has been a long time coming! If you miss this one, you will only need to wait seven years for another, it's true - but why wait?! And besides, the total eclipse in 2024 will also be visible from Mexico and Canada (in fact, Mexico is in many ways a better place to watch that one from!). So come on out for this one, and enjoy what will truly be considered "The Great American Eclipse!" 

People from all over the world begin to converge on the United States. Except for people returning home, visiting family, or conducting business at what happens to be just exactly the right time in history, these will be people who make it a point to travel to wherever the moon's shadow is going to touch the earth, and position themselves in a spot carefully chosen - sometimes years in advance - to ensure they see the sight. 

These people will make contingency travel plans in case of last-minute clouds. These people will fill hotel rooms, sometimes inadvertently displacing locals from their homes as space gets harder to come by. These people will travel through miles of desert or forest or frozen wasteland, braving the harshest of conditions...for a short glimpse at the eclipsed sun. 

These people are coming to America, because for the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will occur in our great country, and we will play host to the world's eclipse-chasers. For those of us who already live here, but have never seen an eclipse, this is the opportunity of a lifetime - to see the most beautiful thing on the planet, and maybe not even have to get on an airplane to get to it!

August 21, 2017--Eclipse Day!

No human action can disrupt the incessant dance of the cosmos, and the moon's shadow will not wait on you if you're not ready. Like a mindless juggernaut, it plows its way through space toward a collision course with earth. As predicted by the astronomers decades in advance, the shadow arrives with perfect accuracy, and touches down in the north Pacific Ocean at 16:48:33 UT*, at local sunrise. (At that spot, the sun will actually rise while eclipsed. This is a sight few people - even veteran eclipse chasers - have seen, and from what we hear, it is quite uncanny.) 

A minute later, the entire shadow (the "umbral cone") will have made landfall - er, ocean-fall - and will be racing across the surface of the water at supersonic speed. Except for folks on ships at sea, and the occasional ocean-dwelling critter who dares to venture too near the surface, nothing sentient will note the passing of the umbra - until land gets in the way.

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