On Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse passed across the continental United States. The last solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979 (the year I was born), and the last one that went through the middle of the country was 1918.
It’s not quite a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it’s pretty close. We’ve got a string of upcoming total solar eclipses in the U.S. in 2024 and again in 2045 (and one in 2099 that will go across Minnesota, if you plan to still be around then). You can certainly travel the world to chase down eclipses, but it’s still a pretty rare event.
Monday’s total eclipse lasted a total of two minutes and thirty seconds, so it’s definitely a short-lived moment.
Last summer I read Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass and learned about the wonders of a total solar eclipse. So I planned my summer vacation with the kids around this event, knowing it would be worth the effort.
And it totally was.
This is just before totality. You can’t tell from the picture, but the light is starting to get weird:
This is during totality. The sky looks bright in the background, but it’s twilight. The kids are freaking out. Lexi: “Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!” Milo: “Oh my freakin’ Thor!”
A glimpse of the sun in full eclipse:
This is immediately after totality ended:
Yep, worth it.