One year before eclipse, spots are filling up fast

Image: 2012 eclipse
The sun’s corona gleams during a total solar eclipse seen from the northern tip of Australia in November 2012. (Credit: Romeo Durscher via NASA)

It’s exactly one year before the “Great American Eclipse” sweeps across the continent, but depending on where you want to stay, it’s already too late to make a reservation.

On one level, the solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, should rank among the most accessible such phenomena for Americans – and it’s not to be missed. Partial phases of the eclipse should be visible, weather permitting, from most of North America. For example, up to 92 percent of the sun’s disk will be covered as seen from Seattle.

On another level, the eclipse is a hot ticket: Its total phase will be visible only along aroughly 70-mile-wide track that extends from Oregon to South Carolina. Totality means the moon blots out the sun’s entire disk, turning daylight to nighttime for up to two and a half minutes.

Statistically speaking, most of the best places to go for clear skies in August are in a swath of the West ranging from central Oregon to Nebraska. And by some measures, the absolute best is Madras, Ore.

But just try getting a room in Oregon.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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