CATE, the Continental American Telescope Eclipse, is an experiment more than two years in the making. "Roughly every six months, they actually line up so that we get at least a partial solar eclipse", Young says.
What time is the solar eclipse?
Why don't they happen more often?
The path of totality - where you'll be able to witness a total eclipse of the sun - is 70 miles wide and stretches across the United States, starting in OR and cutting diagonally down to SC.
NOVA's most extensive fast-turnaround film to date, "Eclipse Over America" will be the ultimate companion to this spectacular celestial event.
The eclipse occurs on August 21. The last total eclipse in the United States occurred on February 26, 1979.
Totality isn't happening in Naperville, only 87 percent of the sun will be covered here - and that means looking at it will damage your vision. Some 90 minutes later, it will have made its way through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and SC. "The shadow itself is traveling at about roughly 1,500 miles an hour, and it ends in Charleston, South Carolina, around 2:45 or so p.m. local time".
In other areas of partial eclipse, different parts of the sun will be visible. If you happen to be on the Mainland when the 2017 eclipse happens, here are 10 viewing locations to consider. On July 2, 2019, a full solar eclipse is scheduled to pass over the South Pacific, Chile and Argentina; these same countries, along with the South Atlantic, will experience another totality event less than a year later on December 14, 2020.
In areas where it'll be a total solar eclipse, from the Pacific Northwest through Missouri and down to SC, it'll still get really dark - pitch black like night - even if overcast.
For a list of reputable vendors and other safety advice for viewing the eclipse, NASA has more information on its website here. To test your glasses, put them on and you should only be able to see the sun.
The Museum will have educators stationed with a special telescope, equipped with safe solar filter, to view the eclipse from 1:20-4 p.m. They need to meet the designated ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard. You can follow them here. The direct course of the eclipse slashes across the United States, beginning in OR and ending in SC. Similar devices, called eclipse viewers, provide the same effect, so long as they are properly certified.