The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Williamson County, Tennessee

Image courtesy of NASA
Both of Williamson County’s public school districts will hold class on August 21, 2017, the day of the total solar eclipse. That’s another great reason to be a homeschooler!

What eclipse?
According to NASA, “On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a total eclipse will cross the entire United States, coast-to-coast, for the first time since 1918. Weather permitting, the entire continent will have the opportunity to view a partial eclipse as the moon passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow on Earth’s surface. Some will see a total eclipse along a path that begins near Lincoln City, Oregon and ends near Charleston, South Carolina. Solar eclipses occur when the moon

blocks any part of the sun. Total solar eclipses, however, are only possible on Earth because of a cosmic quirk of geometry: The sun’s diameter is about 400 times wider than the moon’s, but it is also about 400 times farther away. The result is that the sun and the moon appear to be the same size from our perspective. When they line up just right, the moon can obscure the sun’s entire surface, an occurrence once every 12 to 18 months. Partial solar eclipses, on the other hand, occur when the alignment is such that the moon blocks only part of the sun, and these can occur more frequently. During a total eclipse, we have the rare opportunity to look directly at the sun’s vast, striking outer atmosphere, the corona. The corona appears as pearly white rays and streamers, radiating around the lunar disk.”

When will we be able to see the total eclipse here in Williamson County?
On Monday, August 21, 2017 the partial eclipse begins around 11:58 AM CDT. The start of totality beings at around 1:27 PM CDT. 
The total eclipse will last about minute 55 seconds
. The totality will end around 1:29 PM CDT
 and the partial eclipse ends at around 2:54 PM CDT.

Some maps of the eclipse path show the totality over the northeast portion of Williamson County only. Which leads us to...

t look!
Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse can damage your eyes or even cause blindness. Check out these safe eclipse viewing tips from NASA. 

Check out the Countdown to the Total Solar Eclipse Program at the Williamson County Public Library at 2 PM on Friday, August 3rd. In this presentation by Dr. Billy Teets from the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, Dr. Teets will cover the basics of eclipse mechanics, how to safely observe a solar eclipse, what one can expect to see, and information specific to August 21.  Questions are welcomed. Registration is required.  Click here or call 615-595-1243.

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