LemhiWeb Citizen Journalism

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States. It’ll be the first to traverse coast to coast in nearly a century. There will be 69 total solar eclipses visible from somewhere on the planet in the next 100 years, but only a few will be visible from North America.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon aligns between the Earth and the sun. The shadow directly under the moon, called the umbra, is a total eclipse. The moon will also have a penumbra, which is a lighter shadow around the umbra. This is viewed as a partial eclipse. The path of the moon’s umbra as it moves across Earth is called the path of totality.

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