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Getting Ready for the Great American Total Solar Eclipse

2017 Eclipse
NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

August 21, 2017: Mark it on your calendar, put it in your phone and write a note to yourself. That is the day of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse!

That Monday in August a total eclipse will sweep across the United States from Oregon, through Nebraska and out of South Carolina.

An eclipse is when the shadow of the moon falls on the earth during the day. This happens when the moon moves between Earth and the sun. You can learn more about the eclipse from the NASA website.

On August 21, the eclipse will start its trek across the United States at about 12:15 PM central time in Oregon. It will pass over 12 states. Unfortunately, while it well get dark in South Dakota, we won’t experience a total eclipse. To get the full experience you’ll have to go a few hundred miles south into Nebraska.

NASA August Eclipse Nebraska Map

The eclipse will pass over central Nebraska just after 1:00 PM Central Time. A good city to be in will be Grand Island, Nebraska. There the eclipse will last just under three minutes.

For Sioux Falls, we will experience about 90% totality of the eclipse. Just a little bit more, about 95% will happen in West River.

The eclipse will start about 11:27 AM in Rapid City and about 11:37 AM in Sioux Falls. Middle of the eclipse, or the maximum amount of Sun is covered, will happen about 12:49 PM in Rapid City and just after 1:00 PM in Sioux Falls.

Here’s an interactive map from NASA for more info.

The last time the U.S. had a total eclipse was in 1991 when one cut across Hawaii and Mexico. The last total eclipse on the mainland was in 1979, when the sky darkened in the  northwestern USA.

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Source: NASA

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