WASHINGTON, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Monday, August 21st, a total eclipse of the Sun will cross the United States from coast to coast, giving tens of millions of people within a 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina a rare chance to experience "darkness at midday" and see the shimmering solar corona. It's been nearly 40 years since a total solar eclipse touched the continental U.S. and nearly a century since one crossed the country. The Palmetto State's capital, Columbia, sits squarely within the path of the Moon's dark shadow. Just after 2:40 pm EDT on August 21st, the city's 133,000 residents — and tens of thousands of expected visitors — will see the Moon obscure the Sun's bright face for 2½ minutes, feel the chill as the temperature drops by 10°F or more, and experience a 360° sunset as the horizon glows orange, pink, and yellow.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has chosen Columbia as the site of its fifth and final eclipse planning workshop, to be held Friday, March 31st, at the South Carolina State Museum and Saturday, April 1st, at the University of South Carolina's Amoco Hall. Each day's program will begin with presentations designed especially for the public, which is invited to attend one or both mornings at no charge. Here's your chance to learn directly from scientists and other experts about why eclipses happen, what we can learn from them, what to look for on August 21st, and how to view the eclipse safely. Workshop participants will be coming from the AAS, NASA, the National Solar Observatory, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and universities across the country.
More information about the Columbia workshop is available at https://aas.org/eclipse; general information about the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse is available on the website of the AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force at https://eclipse.aas.org
"Going through life without ever seeing a total eclipse of the Sun would be like going through life without ever falling in love," says Rick Fienberg (AAS). "It would be a shame. Everybody should see at least one." Come to Columbia, South Carolina, on March 31st and/or April 1st to learn what all the excitement is about and why you should make plans to stand in the Moon's shadow on August 21st.
The AAS, established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers and planetary scientists in North America. Its membership of about 8,000 also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.
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SOURCE American Astronomical Society