Total solar eclipse is a big deal

Published 11:06 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

We’ve never seen anything quite like it.

No, we are not referring to the solar eclipse that will travel a course across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on Aug. 21. Scientists tell us total solar eclipses occur every 18 months.

Yet while the solar eclipse itself may not be rare, the interest it has already created is unprecedented, thanks to the internet and social media.

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Still days away from the event, what is being referred to as “The Great American Eclipse” has generated 275 million Google searches and made the eclipse a major tourism event.

An estimated 7.4 million people will travel to areas along the path of the eclipse will be in “totality,” joining the estimated 12.25 million people who live along its roughly 2,600-mile length and 70-mile wide path.

Thanks to social media, it will be the most viewed eclipse in history and the first to travel from coast-to-coast in the United States in 99 years.

Here in North Mississippi we’ll see about 90 percent of the eclipse. At the time of full eclipse, (about 1:30 p.m.) the sun will look like an orange sliver of a crescent against a dark blue sky.

The eclipse will fly across the continent at 1,500 mph, making the journey from Oregon to South Carolina in just 94 minutes.

It will be an awe-inspiring and beautiful thing to behold.