Monday’s total solar eclipse will be visible around the country. The total solar eclipse is the first one in almost 100 years and is the result of the moon completely covering the sun, making only its corona visible, resulting in darkness. While solar eclipses happen regularly, Monday’s eclipse is unique due to its totality and visibility across the United States.
According to NASA, the normal rhythms of the earth are disrupted during a solar eclipse. Becuase of the sudden blocking of the sun, the day appears to be night, including loss of lights and temperature drops. In addition, animals and plants react as if it is night, and retreat to their homes mid-day.
When does the eclipse start?
For those wishing to view the eclipse in Central Pennsylvania, it will begin around 1:15 p.m. and will reach maximum at 2:35 p.m., and end by 4 p.m.
What will I see?
Anyone within 70 miles of the eclipse’s path of totality will be able to see the eclipse. Since State College is not in the direct path of totality, viewers will see a partial eclipse of the sun which will be about 80 percent eclipsed.
Can I look at the eclipse?
Using solar eclipse glasses are necessary if you plan to look up at the eclipse. Faculty and staff from the Penn State Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics will hand out hundreds of glasses for students and community members starting at 1 p.m. at the rooftop observatory on top of Davey Laboratory, the Arboretum at Penn State’s H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens (near the sundial) and Mount Nittany Middle School.
What about the weather?
The eclipse will only be visible if the skies are clear. As of right now, the weather looks promising for those wishing to view the eclipse in Central Pennsylvania. However, if the skies are completely cloudy and overcast, the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics will cancel the viewing events.