The Great American Eclipse: Vast swathes of the United States will be plunged into darkness on August 21

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The United States is gearing up for a once-in-a-century astronomical event.

On August 21, 2017, the Moon will be positioned between the Earth and the Sun just right, creating a total solar eclipse, the first since 1979.

The event will be visible across the entire continent as the shadow of the Moon crosses the country, but a 70 miles-wide strip will experience night-like conditions for a brief period of time.

Spanning from South Carolina to Oregon, the so-called ‘path of totality’ will be plunged into total darkness for just over two and a half minutes. Planets and stars will become visible during this time.

The event will commence at 9.05am local time on the Pacific coast (5.05pm UK), and will finish at 4.09pm local time on the east coast (9.09pm UK).

 

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