The August 21 total solar eclipse will be the first visible across all of the continental United States since March 7, 1970.
A solar eclipse happens when the sun, the moon, and earth perfectly align. With the Moon casting a shadow, individuals that are at the darkest part of that shadow, known as the umbra, will experience the darkness of a total eclipse.
The August 21 solar eclipse will last for only about 3 minutes. The full umbra will first be seen at 10:16:43 a.m. PST in a 90-mile swath centered near Lincoln Beach, Oregon. It will then pass diagonally through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, ending just north of Charleston at 2:45 p.m. EST. California will experience an average sun shadowing of about 70 percent, and every continental state will experience at least a 60 percent shadowing of the sun.
The solar eclipse is turning into a very hot consumer attraction. Oregon hotels in Salem, Corvallis, Madras, Baker City and several small towns expecting total eclipse have been sold-out on August 21 for over a year. But Portland’s NBC affiliate is reporting that a number of hotels that had booked rooms for $100 per night more than a year ago have been cancelling reservations and rebooking at up to $1,600 per night. That is over 50 percent more than an August 21 stay at the highly elite Ritz Carlton in New York City.
Lss sunshine will also force the California Independent System Operator that manages the state’s power grid to contract for an extra out-of-state purchase power to compensate for the estimated 7,337 megawatts of solar power that will go offline from 9 a.m. until about noon.
Eclipses over the millennia have often been considered bad omens and a sign of the end times. E. C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, recently told National Geographic, “If you do a worldwide survey of eclipse lore, the theme that constantly appears, with few exceptions, is it’s always a disruption of the established order.”
According to Krupp, many cultures feared eclipses as the eating of the sun. Vikings blamed sky wolves, Vietnamese blamed giant frogs, Koreans blamed sky dogs, and American Indians blamed a bear. Ancient Greek civilizations believed that a solar eclipse was the beginning of disasters and destruction because the gods were of angry.
Many people still fear solar eclipses today as bringing death, destruction, and disasters. A popular myth in many cultures is that solar eclipses are a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children. During eclipses, young children and pregnant women are warned to stay indoors. Many people in India fast during a solar eclipse because they believe any food cooked in an eclipse will be poisonous and unclean.
The only positive story that Breitbart News could find about the benefits of a solar eclipses was from Italy, where people believe that flowers planted during the eclipse will be much brighter and colorful than flowers planted at any other time.
Harvard’s Schepens Eye Research Institute stated that there “is no danger to the eye in looking directly at a total solar eclipse.” But they do warn that looking directly at the smallest part of a partial eclipse is very dangerous and can result in retinal damage due to heat (infrared radiation), UV (ultraviolet radiation), and from excessive blue light.