A crescent fire will briefly burn in South Florida’s sky this month as the moon covers 80 percent of the sun in a historic solar eclipse painting a dark swath coast-to-coast.
While Palm Beach County is a day’s drive from the epicenter of the celestial event of the century, experts said the Aug. 21 eclipse will still be a treat with the moon’s bite casting surreal shadows, dimming daytime, and leaving only a glowing curve of light in the sky.
“You don’t see something like this all the time,” said Jim Stryder, who is working with Broward College’s Buehler Planetarium on an eclipse-day event. “It’s the interaction of the sun, moon and Earth, and you are seeing it as it occurs. It’s amazing.”
The last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was in February 1979, but it crossed only six states in the northwestern part of the country.
The Aug. 21 eclipse is the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to travel across the entire U.S. beginning at 10:15 a.m. PDT in Newport, Ore., and ending at 4:10 p.m. EDT in Charleston, S.C. People in a 70-mile-wide path that touches 14 states will experience complete darkness for more than two minutes, but everywhere in North America will see a portion of the eclipse.
“If you can possibly get into the eclipse path, take the family, take the kids, it will be one of the most amazing natural phenomenon you will ever see,” said Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist who has traveled to see 27 solar eclipses.
Where is the closest place to Florida to see the total solar eclipse? Find out in the full Palm Beach Post story here.