solar technology

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse Shadows Nebraska

Mark your calendars for Monday, August 21. Nebraskans have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an epic solar eclipse right over their heads. This year the United States will witness a total solar eclipse, which is where the Sun completely disappears behind the Moon.

Mark your calendars for Monday, August 21. Nebraskans have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an epic solar eclipse right over their heads. This year the United States will witness a total solar eclipse, which is where the Sun completely disappears behind the Moon.

Where can I watch the solar eclipse?

Lincoln, Nebraska will begin to see the eclipse around 11:37 a.m. with the peak totality starting shortly after 1:00 p.m. Scientists expect the totality in Lincoln to last about a minute and a half. The total solar eclipse will completely leave the Lincoln viewing area around 2:30 p.m. For a longer eclipse viewing time, Grand Island, Nebraska will be a prime location.

What is a solar eclipse?

The path of what is now called the Great American Total Solar Eclipse will streak across the country, but western Nebraska is one of the best places to watch the spectacle. The eclipse will cast shadows along a stretch of land that’s approximately 70 miles wide. Since the Moon is so small, only people who fall under the Moon’s shadow will get to witness the total solar eclipse. When you also factor in Earth’s rotation and the tilt on its axis, it’s very rare for a spot to experience a solar eclipse. The last time a total solar eclipse traveled across the USA from coast to coast was nearly 100 years ago in 1918.

When the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, a total solar eclipse occurs. The circular disk of the Moon blocks the sun’s bright light, creating a distinct shadow. Without the sunlight, the Sun’s corona is visible. The corona is what scientists call the atmosphere around the Sun. People often report seeing one-of-a-kind ribbons of light twisting through the sky. Skywatchers can witness the amazing event only if they fall directly under the path of the Moon’s shadow. Partial solar eclipses don’t show the same spectacular demonstrations.

How to see the solar eclipse

This brief period of darkness is visible without any special equipment but looking directly at the Sun is damaging to your eyes. Experts highly recommend getting a pair of solar viewing glasses to protect your vision. Another option is to seek out local skywatchers. Since the Great American Total Solar Eclipse is such an important event, many scientists and astronomy groups will have their equipment available for the public to witness the totality. Another way to witness the solar eclipse and save your eyesight is with indirect viewing. With this method, you’ll witness the eclipse projected onto a screen.

Telescopes and binoculars are not necessary, but they can help you see the solar corona better. Remember to only use this equipment during the total solar eclipse. Looking at a partial eclipse without equipment is still very damaging to your eyes. Never look directly into the Sun.

Nebraskans will have a front row seat to watch the Great American Total Solar Eclipse. Mark your calendars, get your eye protection and look to the skies for this amazing event.