What You May Not Know About the Great American Solar Eclipse: Part One
Ed Kluska’s Astrology Newsletter
~ The solar eclipse next Monday, August 21, is being called the “Great American Eclipse” because it will be the first anywhere in the United States since 1979, and the first one since 1918 to be visible from coast to coast. It will also be the first solar eclipse to be seen only on American soil since 1776.
~ For the July 29, 1878 solar eclipse, hundreds of astronomers and thousands of tourists traveled by train to Wyoming, Colorado, and Texas to witness America’s first “Great Eclipse.” They had to brave storms, altitude sickness, and the threat of Indian attacks.
~ Greek historian Herodotus credits the philosopher Thales with accurately predicting the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 B.C. "People realized there were patterns," says astronomer Tyler Nordgren. "If it is a dragon eating the sun, then evidently the dragon works on a timetable."
~ Most eclipses fall on the vast waters around the earth, unseen by large populations. This eclipse will cross directly overhead or near many major population areas starting at Government Point, Oregon at 10:15 AM PDT and cutting diagonally to the coast of South Carolina near Charleston at 02:48 PM EDT.
~ It will have a 67-mile-wide path of totality moving through 14 states, from Oregon through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina.
~ The best places to watch are within a 60 to 70-mile-wide range known as the “path of totality” where periods of total darkness will last from a few seconds to just over two minutes depending on where you view it. Around the Cincinnati area, the “totality” will be about 90%.
~ During the total eclipse, as the light from the sun is blocked, points of light called Bailey Beads begin to appear as sunlight streams through the valleys of the moon’s horizon. It will look like someone is taking increasingly large bites from the sun until the actual eclipse itself when the sun is completely covered by the moon. At that time, all that will be visible is the solar corona, the sun's gaseous halo, which peeks out from the blackness and shoots out into space for millions of miles and is spectacularly visible to the unaided eye as a brilliant, glowing halo.
~ Some 75 million people live within a 200-mile drive of the totality path, and large crowds are expected to gather in towns and cities along the route, snarling traffic and straining infrastructure and emergency responders. To prepare for this event, communities are coordinating with the government, law enforcement, and food vendors, and ferrying in portable cellphone towers. Glendo, Wyoming, population 200, set up an airstrip viewing area to accommodate some 20,000 visitors.
~ Eclipse watchers are being advised to bring food and water and take appropriate safety precautions. "The biggest shortage on the day will probably be port-a-potties," predicts geographer Michael Zeiler.
~ This eclipse will pass through largely rural areas where cellphone service can be unpredictable. Hence, it may not be possible to post quickly the images to Facebook and other social media. At the peak times, the networks may struggle. AT&T and other providers are deploying additional portable cell towers across the country, and they are fine-tuning their towers as necessary.
~ Scientists will be busy gathering information. The reduced glare during the total eclipse of 1919 enabled British astronomers to observe the extent to which solar gravity bends starlight which confirmed a key prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity. This year astronomers across the country will use special radio receivers to study the ionosphere, an atmospheric region between 46 and 621 miles above earth ionized by solar and cosmic radiation. Day-to-night ionospheric fluctuations can disrupt radio waves and communications systems. Ion reduction after sundown is one reason AM stations come through better at night.
~ Above all, be careful. You can permanently damage your eyesight, or even go blind, by staring at an eclipse. The only safe way to view the eclipse directly is through sufficient eye shielding which includes specialized glasses designed explicitly for solar viewing. Only during absolute totality is it safe to remove your glasses when the rays of the sun are totally cut off by the moon’s passage.
The second part of this report will cover the astrological implications for this special eclipse. Although the eclipse will be short-lived next Monday, the effects of eclipses can last for years from an astrological perspective.
To learn how this special eclipse is and will be affecting you and your horoscope based on your time, date, and place of birth, click here.
If you need further explanation with any of this information, contact me. And please forward this information to your family and friends.
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