From: Eric Adams via Wired
Published August 9, 2017 10:02 AM

There's Still Time to Prepare Yourself for the Apoceclipse

For years, the total solar eclipse of August 21—the first to be visible in the mainland United States since 1979—has been in stealth mode. With the exception of the enthusiasts who’ve been snatching up all the hotel rooms along the eclipse’s 70-mile-wide, 2,800-mile-long path from Oregon to South Carolina, nobody really knew it was coming. But in the past few months, word of this spectacular natural phenomenon has spread like wildfire, and communities across the country that will be graced by the moon’s shadow are on high alert, anticipating millions of visitors.

But this ain’t no nerds-only field trip. In addition to astronomy enthusiasts, the eclipse will draw all kinds, from the curious to the bemused to the any-excuse-for-a-party crowds. There’ll be families, busloads of schoolkids, retirees, young thrill-seekers, and spontaneous road-trippers. If you’re just waking up now to the prospect of being a FOMO poster child, don’t panic. You can still make this happen. And we can tell you how.

If you do, your reward will be a legitimately otherworldly moment. “It’s absolutely unlike any other experience you’ve ever had,” says Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist and the preeminent authority on eclipses and eclipse prediction. (Really: People call him Mr. Eclipse.) He describes it best: “It’s the closest thing to a surreal experience, with the sun vanishing from the midday sky. You’re suddenly plunged into an eerie twilight—you can see sunrise colors at the horizon, the black disc of the moon with the sun’s corona around it. It looks like a sci-fi movie, and it hits you quickly. Your hair stands on end and you get goosebumps on your arm, along with a feeling in the pit of your stomach telling you that something is dreadfully wrong. It just shouldn’t look like this. It never gets old.” C’mon, how can you turn down that pitch?

Read more at Wired

Photo credit: Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar via Wikimedia Commons

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