The Sun Will Go Dark on August 21st

| April 18, 2017 @ 6:00 am

On August 21, 2017, everyone in the contiguous United States will at least be able to see a partial solar eclipse, but there will be a small swath, about 70 miles wide, that will stretch from the Pacific shoreline of Oregon to the Atlantic coastline of South Carolina that will see a total eclipse. A total solar eclipse is when the sun is completely covered by the moon, while a partial solar eclipse is when the moon blocks out a part of the sun.

The eclipse will start at approximately 10:46AM CDT, but the show will not start for the United States until approximately 11:03AM when the penumbra (outer parts of the moon’s shadow) reaches the Oregon shoreline. It will take approximately 4 hours, 6 minutes for the eclipse to transverse across the United States, before the backside of the penumbra exits at approximately 3:09PM CDT off of the Atlantic coast of South Carolina. The midpoint of the eclipse, also known as the “Eclipse Maximum,” will take place at approximately 1:21PM CDT over Kentucky near the town of Hopkinsville. The sun will finally escape completely from behind the moon at approximately 4:04PM CDT, bringing an end to the event.

So what will we see in Central Alabama?

Image from

Most of the area will be able to see at least 90% of the sun hidden by the moon. The image above gives you an idea on what we should be able to view from the Birmingham metropolitan area. The eclipse will start for Birmingham at 12:00PM CDT, be at it’s maximum here at 1:31PM CDT, and will be ending at 2:58PM CDT.

If you will be viewing the eclipse, never look directly at the sun without the proper protective equipment or eyewear. Permanent damage to your eyes and even blindness can be caused by the Sun’s UV rays. To safely view the event, use protective eclipse glasses or project an image of the eclipsed Sun using a pinhole projector.

The WeatherBrains Resident Astronomer Tony Rice sharedsome safety tips, photography advice and things to look for. He also explained the best places to go to be in the path of totality and what to expect.

The show will be posted on here shortly.  18Don’t forget you can listen to WeatherBrains anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. You can also watch on the James Spann 24×7 Channel on your local cable system here in Central Alabama.

Category: ALL POSTS, WeatherBrains

About the Author ()

Scott Martin is a meteorologist, graphic artist, musician, husband, and a father. Scott is a member of the National Weather Association and the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.

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