One of the most dramatic celestial events; the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the totality of the United States, since the total solar eclipse of June 8, 1918, will occur on August 21, 2017. The shadow created by the moon as it passes between the Earth and the Sun is called the umbra. The size of the path of totality, traced by the umbra, is about 167 miles wide, so most viewers outside the direct path of the umbra will view a partial eclipse. Referred to as “the Great American Eclipse;” the path of the shadow will pass directly over the United States and be accessible within a day’s drive, to 200 million people.
The greatest duration of the path of totality within the moon’s umbra will cross the Southeastern United States and provide its most dramatic viewing in western Kentucky as it tracks northwest across the United States towards Portland Oregon.