The excitement for the Great America Eclipse is bursting, for me at least. Monday, August 21 a solar eclipse will sweep across the United states from Oregon to South Carolina. The path of totality will be just to the south of us in Nebraska. But, Sioux Falls should see about 90% darkness during the event.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun and casts its shadow on the earth. That in itself is amazing, the darkness during the day. but, what else happens?

  • You may be able to see the shadow of the moon. The 70 mile wide shadow is moving across the surface of the earth. As the eclipse starts in your area and as it ends, you could see the darkness coming and going.
  • The temperature could drop several degrees. During an eclipse in 2015 the temp dropped more than 20 degrees at a location in Norway.
  • We may see Shadow Bands. They are a phenomenon where "...alternating streaks of light and dark appear on the ground. Shadow bands appear shortly before totality...and are usually visible only in places where the ground is 'really smooth, with a light, uniform color,' such as places covered by snow or sand."
  • Starts and planets could become visible. Light pollution may block some of this for some people.
  • Animals may get a little confused. birds have been knows to quickly stop singing. Cows may head to the barn. Night animals may think it's time to do their thing. Creatures ruled by body clocks may find it all a bit disorientating.

It's going to be an exciting day when the darkness blankets parts of the country later this month.

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