Total solar eclipses are rare here in the United States; the last time the moon completely blocked out the sun over America was in 1979. But two years from now, sky-watchers from South Carolina to Oregon will get to see what’s been dubbed The Great American Eclipse.
The eclipse will cut a path straight across the middle of the country on August 21, 2017. According to data from the United States Naval Observatory, major cities in the eclipse’s path include Casper, WY; Kansas City, KS; Jefferson City, MO; Kansas City, MO; Lincoln, NE; Salem, OR; Columbia, SC; Greenville, SC; Nashville, TN, St. Louis, MO; and Charleston, SC.
Those who live outside of that narrow band of visibility will have to drive out to catch the eclipse, but it sounds like the phenomenon will be worth seeing. The moon will position itself so neatly in front of the sun that it will start to get dark in the middle of the day, with no sunlight visible except for a perfect ring around the moon’s shadow.
The next total solar eclipse won’t happen until 2024, so better start planning that road trip if you want to catch one within the decade.