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US to Witness Total Solar Eclipse in 99 Years: What Makes the August 21 Phenomenon So Special?

USA to witness a total solar eclipse in 90 years. All the 50 states would get a glimpse of at least partial solar eclipse.

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Solar Eclipse. Pixabay
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Washington D.C. [USA], August 19, 2017: Hold your breath to relish the most spectacular celestial dance. This has not happened in 99 years in the USA. The sun and the moon would sketch an arc by staging a shadow dance from east coast to the west.
The most remarkable date i.e., 21 August 2017, for which we have been impatiently waiting for almost a century now, is about to arrive.

The total solar eclipse in the United States of America is about to happen. Genevieve De Messieres, Astronomy Education Program Manager at Air and Space Museum calls this month as solar eclipse, an amazing phenomenon.

WHAT MAKES THIS SOLAR ECLIPSE SO SPECIAL?

A solar eclipse occurs when a new moon moves between the earth and the sun, hindering some or all of the sun’s rays from reaching the earth.As a consequence of this celestial movement, there are four kinds of the solar eclipse that are formed. When the moon eclipses the sun, it casts two types of shadow on earth, a small darker shadow i.e., Umbra and a large darker shadow i.e., Penumbra. The Total solar eclipse can be seen in Umbra region and a partial solar eclipse in Penumbra region. The path of totality is the region where a total solar eclipse can be seen.

The most exciting news is that all the 50 states of the USA will either witness a total solar eclipse and a partial solar eclipse. A narrow strip of the country more than 110 Km wide through 14 states will experience a total eclipse. And, the rest of the country will witness a partial solar eclipse.

If you wish to know the exact regions of both the eclipse, then follow this link- Eclipse 2017

If you are in Umbra region, then pre-total solar eclipse, do not forget to astound yourself from incredible experience of glimpsing Baily’s Beads and the Diamond Ring.
Just before the total solar eclipse, when the moon has almost fully covered the sun and the sunlight still continues to peep through the valleys and mountains on the edge of the moon, at this point, you can see the light in the form of beads. These beads are known as Baily’s Beads.

Diamond ring. Pixabay

Finally, the movement for which sky watchers are eagerly waiting for, the formation of the Diamond Ring, which is formed for few mini-seconds when a single bead of light remains in the sky. Once, the diamond ring disappears, the total solar eclipse is achieved.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT THE ECLIPSE: Have you ever wondered, that the moon which is 400 times smaller in size than that of the sun, can fully cover it? The answer to this question is an interesting fact, by cosmic chance, the sun is 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther than the moon. Due to which, both of these celestial bodies appear the same size when watched from the earth.

FUN LOVING WAYS TO VIEW SOLAR ECLIPSE

Don’t even think of watching solar eclipse with your bare eyes, it may lead to a lost eye sight. If you are in Washington D.C., you may go to Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum(NASM), they are setting up various viewing locations by putting up a telescope in these locations.

If you can not make up to these locations, then may preferable buy only certified eclipse watching glass. NASM is also distributing these glasses. You may get one for yourself.
Caution: After the eclipse, do not remove your glasses while watching towards the sky, it may give your eyes a burning sensation. First, look at the ground and then remove the glasses.

If somehow, you do not get these glasses, then are some interesting ways to view an eclipse. If you wish to enjoy these ways, then do follow each instruction properly.

ALSO WATCH:

TOP 10 DESTINATIONS TO WITNESS THE SPECTACULAR    TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

Total Solar eclipse.Pixabay

Madras, Oregon
This is the territory where the total solar eclipse will occur first at 10:19 a.m. PDT and would last for 2 minutes and 4 seconds.

Snake River Valley, Idaho
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:33 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

Casper, Wyoming
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:42 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

Sandhills of western Nebraska
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:49 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

St. Joseph, Missouri
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:06 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Carbondale, Illinois
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:20 p.m. CDT and would last long for 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds.

Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:24 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 41.2 seconds.

Nashville, Tennessee
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:27 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 1 minute and 57 seconds.

Great Smokey Mountains, Natl.Park
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 2:35 p.m. EDT and it would last long for 1 minute and 17 seconds.

Columbia, South Carolina
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 2:43 p.m. EDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Moreover, NASA is also organizing various fun-filled activities at various destinations. If you wish to know about it and indulge your self in these events, then go this link- Eclipse 2017 NASA Event Locations

MAKE PROPER RESERVATIONS BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Before you pack your bags, do make proper arrangements for your stay. It would be difficult to get on the spot reservation on 21 August 2017. So, plan in advance. Also, be prepared for the traffic jams in advance.

This link would demonstrate the statistics about the population access and estimated visitations on the eclipse day-  greatamericaneclipse.com/statistics

CAUTION: Avoid driving during the eclipse time as you experience the worst driving experience of your life. This may also affect your eyes.

Another amazing Fact: You will be surprised to know that though total solar eclipse happens somewhere on earth every year at any given point on earth experience this only once in every 400 years.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry Up! Plan ahead to watch out nature’s most magnificent and spectacular happening.

prepared by a Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31

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Copyright 2017 NewsGram

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Search for alien life got exciting new leads this year

In yet another first for the year, scientists spotted an "interstellar object" entering our solar system.

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Telescope can view stars at ultraviolet wavelengths unhindered. Wikimedia Commons
Telescope can view stars at ultraviolet wavelengths unhindered. Wikimedia Commons
  • First observations of a merger between two faraway neutron stars
  • Discovery of the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star outside our solar system
  • A Chinese satellite detected mysterious signals in its measurement of high-energy cosmic rays, bringing scientists closer to proving the existence of dark matter.

NEW DELHI: One year passes in the blink of an eye in terms of the age of our universe, but 2017 has made significant contributions towards unravelling the deep mysteries hidden in its vast expanse, giving the search for alien life a big boost.

From the first observations of a merger between two faraway neutron stars to stunning discoveries of a number of exoplanets in the habitable zone of a nearby star and the continued march of China as a serious space player, this year has had plenty of memorable developments to excite scientists and the public at large.

Marked as the “breakthrough of the year” by the journal Science, the merger of the two neutron stars 130 million light years away generated tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves.

The first detection of gravitational waves two years ago has already brought scientists the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, but sensing the space-time ripples after the merger of the neutron stars marked the first-ever detection of gravitational waves as well as light produced and emitted during the same cosmic event, a phenomenon that scientists like to describe as hearing and seeing the violent universe.

While the observation of this collision provides scientists clues on how heavy elements like gold and platinum are produced in our cosmos, and advances understanding of the universe in myriad other ways, the discovery of several Earth-sized planets orbiting stars outside our solar system has whetted the thirst for finding signs of life in worlds other than our home planet.

This year NASA discovered few earth like planets. Wikimedia Commons
This year NASA discovered few earth like planets. Wikimedia Commons

In February, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the first known system of seven Earth-sized planets around a single star — the TRAPPIST-1 star — an ultra-cool dwarf located at about 40 light-years from Earth.

The researchers determined that three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery set a new record for maximum number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system.

In yet another first for the year, scientists spotted an “interstellar object” entering our solar system.

The discovery was made on October 19 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA.

The discovery, termed “historic” by the US space agency, revealed the interstellar interloper to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a ratio of length to width unlike any asteroid or comet observed in our solar system.

The team from the Pan-STARRS observatory has chosen the name “Oumuamua” for their discovery. Of Hawaiian origin, the name means a messenger from afar arriving first.

By exploring deep into space, scientists are looking for any signs of alien life. Wikimedia Commons
By exploring deep into space, scientists are looking for any signs of alien life. Wikimedia Commons

In 2017, NASA made progress in the preparations to send astronauts to Mars and it became clear that the agency would have to make plans for returning astronauts to the Moon in preparation for human missions to the Red Planet and other destinations of our solar system.

The year also marks the end of Cassini’s 13-year tour of Saturn as the spacecraft made a fateful plunge into the atmosphere of the ringed planet on September 15. The mission is often credited for transforming our understanding of ocean worlds, where life may potentially exist beyond Earth.

In April, NASA said that its Cassini spacecraft discovered hydrogen in the plume of gas and icy particles spraying from Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The discovery means the small, icy moon — which has a global ocean under its surface — has a source of chemical energy that life can feed on.

And even as the spacecraft is gone, scientists hope that its enormous collection of data about Saturn — the giant planet, its magnetosphere, rings and moons — will continue to yield new discoveries for decades to come.

The year also marks some giant strides taken by China to emerge as a formidable space power. One of its satellites, which was sent to the skies to look for evidence of the annihilation or decay of dark matter particles in space, detected for the first time unexpected and mysterious signals in its measurement of high-energy cosmic rays, bringing scientists closer to proving the existence of the invisible matter.