The Greenway Foundation education staff geared up to start field trips next week with excursion training today. But as it was also the day of the solar eclipse, we started the day with a little crafting and made our own solar eclipse viewing devices. And when the time rolled around, we paused to stare at the sky (using proper tools and techniques, of course).
To keep celebrating this exciting phenomenon, here are three fun solar eclipse facts that you may not know yet:
Today is particularly special because it’s trajectory is exclusive to the United States for the first time in over 100 years! It’s also the first time a total eclipse of the sun is visible from the contiguous U.S. since 1979. The next one we’ll be able to see from the states is in 2024, so we won’t have to wait as long next time.
The total eclipse can be viewed widely in about 10 states, and totality typically lasts no longer than two minutes and 40 seconds. This timing can change based on the year, though.
Total solar eclipses won’t always happen...but we will have to wait a while before they’re not a thing anymore. Like 600 million years. Scientists say there will be no more total solar eclipses in about 600 million years because of the moon’s slowly increasing orbit. NASA believes the moon will have moved far enough away from Earth in that time that it will no longer be big enough to entirely cover the sun. The diameter of the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun… but by amazing coincidence right now it’s also 400 times closer to the Earth. So when that’s not true anymore, we won’t have any more total solar eclipses.