EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - A solar eclipse is coming to America for the first time since 1918, which means you will not want to miss this golden opportunity come August 21st.
Due to the elliptical orbit of the moon around the earth, it is rare when the sun, moon, and earth all line up at just the right angle to get this solar eclipse. In just a few weeks, however, we will get that perfect alignment, which will allow us to see the moon take a bite out of the sun.
Every spot in the continental United States will get to view this eclipse, but only a small portion of America will get to see this in totality.
The total solar eclipse will just be confined to a 70 mile stretch extending from Salem, OR all the way down through Nashville, TN and eventually into Columbia, SC.
For us in East and Deep East Texas, we will see a partial solar eclipse, in which 73% of the sun will be blocked or eclipsed by the moon. Assuming we do not have lots of clouds around, it will still be a sight to behold, but we will not get the grand prize this time around.
The eclipse is set to begin at 11:46 a.m. and will peak at 1:16 p.m. before it ends at 2:45 p.m.
It is during the maximum eclipse time at 1:16 p.m. in which the moon will take the biggest chunk out of the sun. It will almost look like a Pacman in the sky.
It should be noted that when viewing this solar eclipse, there are some safety measures we need to take in order to avoid doing damage to our eye sight.
Namely, do not look at the sun. Even if we had a total solar eclipse, it is never safe to look directly into the sun. Even wearing sunglasses will not suffice in this case.
So in order to view this partial, solar eclipse in East Texas, there are two ways in which you can do it safely.
The first is to purchase some protective eyewear that has been approved by NASA. The solar protected glasses allows you to put them on and actually look at the eclipse directly, which is what many East Texans would prefer to do. I just ordered some last week and you can do the same. Just go to eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety to order your own.
However, if you cannot order the glasses in a timely manner, you can indirectly view it by projecting the sun's image with a pinhole or binoculars.
If you want to see what the eclipse will look like from any point in the country, just visit this site and just enter the zip code.
If you miss this solar eclipse, no worries. A total solar eclipse will be coming to parts of Texas in April of 2024.
If you're interested in taking in spectacular sky gazing with a group, there are a few events planned around the area.
The Center for Earth and Space Science Education at Tyler Junior College will host a viewing event on August 21st from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Longview Public Library is also holding an event the day of the eclipse and giving away special glasses that will watchers to safely view the Aug. 21 event. The library says the glasses are free for the first 200 people on the day to arrive at the event. No glasses will be distributed ahead of time. Prime solar eclipse viewing in Longview begins at 11:45 a.m. and the total eclipse will occur at 1:15 p.m.
Diboll's Temple Memorial Library is also hosting a viewing event. 'Here Comes the Sun' will be from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the library at 300 Polk Street in Diboll. Prime viewing time is estimated to be roughly between noon and 12:30 p.m.