T-minus-6 months for all-American eclipse

Kids with solar glasses
Certified solar glasses are required to watch a partial solar eclipse. The total phase, however, should be enjoyed without wearing shades. (Rainbow Symphony Photo / Mark Margolis)

BOSTON – Six months from today, millions of Americans will watch the sun darken during a rare coast-to-coast eclipse – and it’s not too early to get into the spirit of totality.

It’s definitely not too early to figure out where you’re going to be: Hotel rooms in the track of the total solar eclipse for the time around Aug. 21 were scarce six months ago, and they’re virtually impossible to find now. In the Pacific Northwest, you’ll have to settle for a room in, say, Portland or Walla Walla, plus a significant drive.

What’s the attraction? You’ll be in on one of our planet’s weirdest phenomena, a minute or two when the sun turns black, surrounded by a shimmering corona. It’ll be much more than an astronomical event.

“This will be the most photographed, the most shared, the most tweeted event in human history,” artist-astronomer Tyler Nordgren said over the weekend in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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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