The United States of America will witness a total solar eclipse in its skies on Aug 21that will cast a shadow cutting diagonally through the American mainland. Astronomers and star-gazers around the world are looking forward to this rare phenomenon as this is the first to be visible from the US mainland since 1979 and the first to be visible from coast to coast since 1918.
The partial phase of the Great American Eclipse will begin over the Pacific Ocean at 1546 GMT (9.16 PM IST) and will end at 18.48 GMT (12.52 AM IST). Reports said that it will cross from Oregon into Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and, finally, South Carolina, passing over tiny slivers of Montana and Iowa. The eclipse will last longest near Carbondale, Illinois for 2.44 minutes.
According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Sun's disk will be partially blocked by the moon in the initial phase of the total eclipse. The phenomenon can last for over an hour and can be viewed by a pair of specially designed glasses. In the second phase of the eclipse, experts say that the sunlight streaming through the Moon's valleys will create a bright flash of light, giving the appearance of a diamond ring.
However, in the third phase of the total eclipse, the low lying valleys on the moon's edge will allow shimmering light to pass through, leading to the complete solar eclipse in phase four. This rare sight will lasts for under a minute in some of the locations. The final stage will have phase when the crescent will begin to peek from behind the moon.
The experts have advised people not to look directly at the Sun during the eclipse and especially in the final phase which may render severe damage to eyes.
Unfortunately, Singapore will not be able to witness this solar eclipse. But, no need to get disheartened as you can surely watch it online by visiting the official website of NASA. From 9 am to 1 pm PT on Monday, NASA will film from 12 cities for its feature "Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA". The program will also air on NASA TV, Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch. Apart from this, you can also visit the following sites to watch the total solar eclipse: https://www.precisioneclipse.com/ , https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ .