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Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 6:26 PM
— The nation is gearing up for the first total solar eclipse to cross the country coast to coast in nearly 100 years.
This August, the sun, the moon and planet Earth will all align as space junkies revel in the celestial spectacle that has everyone talking.
Due to its rarity, astronomers are calling the 2017 phenomenon the Great American Eclipse.
Here are seven things to know about the big summer event:
When is it?
The Great American Eclipse will cross the U.S. on Aug. 21, and will begin in Oregon at 10:15 a.m. local time (so, 1:15 p.m. EST). The eclipse’s path of totality will cut a 60-mile-wide arc across the country and end in South Carolina about an hour and a half later.
Most accurate map of the eclipse’s path of totality to date
NASA data visualizer Ernie Wright published the most accurate map to date of the Great American Eclipse’s path of totality using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, elevation data on Earth and information on the sun’s angles.
Whether or not you’re inside the path of totality will determine what you see in the sky. If you’re outside the path, you’ll likely see a partial (not total) eclipse.
To determine the most accurate eclipse path, according to Wright, you have to figure out where the moon’s shadow will fall on the Earth’s surface, which requires taking into account the elevation differences on both the moon and Earth’s surfaces, he told Space.com.
Using elevation data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, the locations of the Earth, moon and sun at each line of latitude or longitude and how long it takes sunlight to travel to the moon and down to Earth, Wright was able to compute where exactly the eclipse will cross and for how long.
How to find out what the eclipse will look like from where you live
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, teamed up with Google to create a simulator that shows you what the sky will look like wherever you are.
All you have to do is type in your hometown or zip code and the simulator will tell you how much of the sun will be blocked by the moon, how the sun will travel across the sky over a three-hour period on Aug. 21 and what time to watch.
“There are lots of online animations of the 2017 eclipse, but you can’t use them like ours to get a sense of the full experience, including your surroundings. Our simulation is closer to what one might experience in a planetarium show,” the UC Berkeley scientists said.
The tool could also help people figure out where to get the best “total solar eclipse experience,” the scientists said.
This simulator is part of the Eclipse Megamovie Project, a Google-Berkeley collaboration aimed at collecting and stitching together thousands of photos of the Aug. 21 eclipse taken by volunteer photographers around the country.
Where are the best places to see the 2017 eclipse?
The August eclipse will be incredibly accessible to anyone within a 200-mile drive of its path of totality, but the most important factor in getting a good view is weather.
But if you’re hoping to make a trip out of the big event, Greatamericaneclipse.com has a list of 10 great places to see the phenomenon based on the best weather odds for clear skies:
Madras, Oregon: Totality begins at 10:19 a.m. PDT and lasts 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
Snake River Valley, Idaho: Totality begins at 11:33 a.m. MDT and lasts 2 minutes, 18 seconds.
Casper, Wyoming: Totality begins at 11:42 a.m. MDT and lasts 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
Sandhills of western Nebraska: Totality begins at 11:49 a.m. MDT and lasts 2 minutes, 30 seconds.
St. Joseph, Missouri: Totality begins at 1:06 p.m. CDT and lasts 2 minutes, 39 seconds.
Carbondale, Illinois: Totality begins at 1:20 p.m. CDT and lasts 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds.
Hopkinsville, Kentucky: Totality begins at 1:24 p.m. CDT and lasts 2 minutes, 41.2 seconds.
Nashville, Tennessee: Totality begins at 1:27 p.m. CDT and lasts 1 minute, 57 seconds.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Totality begins at 2:35 p.m. EST and lasts 1 minute, 17 seconds.
Columbia, South Carolina: Totality begins at 2:43 p.m. EST and lasts 2 minutes, 30 seconds.
The area is also holding an array of events to commemorate the phenomenon.
Other accessible road trips from Georgia include the Great Smoky Mountains; Columbia, South Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.
If you plan on seeing the spectacle in person, Space.com has helpful safety tips.
How to watch the eclipse live (from your couch)
Even if you don’t plan on traveling or making your way outdoors for the great eclipse, NASA will be hosting an Eclipse Megacast across multiple programming venues, including NASA TV, YouTube, UStream and more. Local and national television stations will likely pick the Megacast up as well.
When was the last time there was a total solar eclipse visible from the United States?
The total solar eclipse of July 11, 1991 in Hawaii was the last to touch U.S soil, but the Feb. 26, 1979 eclipse — 38 years ago — was the last visible within the continental United States.
How long until the next total solar eclipse to touch the continental United States?
The next North American total solar eclipse will be on April 8, 2024, and will begin in Mexico, make its way through Texas to Maine and eventually end in Canada.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 1:33 AM
MORRIS, Okla. — An entire Oklahoma school district canceled classes Wednesday through Friday after schools reported excessive flu absences among much of the staff.
Morris Public Schools said Monday's absences were at 20 percent, and Tuesday's were at more than 30 percent.
Basketball teams will continue competition in the county tournament.
Wrestlers will need to contact the coach about scheduled meets.
The district asks that ill students stay home when school resumes.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:06 AM
PULLMAN, Wash. — Police in Pullman, Washington, say officers have found Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinkski dead Tuesday in an apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
At about 4:30 p.m., officers responded to an apartment to check on the welfare of a football player who did not show up for practice earlier in the day.
When officers arrived, they found Hilinkski, 21, deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Police said a rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a note was found.
Washington State president Kirk Schulz tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family.”
Former Washington State linebackers coach Roy Manning, who recently left for a position at UCLA, tweeted , “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. My heart is beyond saddened. Please pray for the family and all of us affected!”
Hilinski, from Claremont, Calif., recently finished his redshirt sophomore season for the Cougars.
He started in place of Senior Luke Falk in the Cougars loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.
Hilinski played 11 games in his Cougars career, passing for 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns.
Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:47 PM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of Haitians living in Central Florida said they're just days away from being forced out of their jobs.
Many of those worried are workers at Disney World.
They were granted Temporary Protected Status after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010.
They’re now finding out their jobs are in limbo, because their work authorizations are about to expire and new applications aren't being processed.
The change affects more than 500 workers at Disney, many of whom have families and homes in Central Florida.
Many were facing the possibility of being forced to leave the country before the administration extended TPS until July of 2019 for more than 50,000 Haitians living and working in the U.S.
But now, they're facing another dilemma.
Wilna Destin has lived in Orlando 18 years.
She's married with two children and she has no idea what will happen next week when her and her husband's work authorization permits expire.
"That hurts, you know. It hurts your family,” she said.
TPS workers in Central Florida said they've learned the administration is not even processing their work authorization applications, which they need to stay employed.
Sano Leger, a union representative, said it affects workers all through the tourist corridor.
"Most of those big hotels, they have people who have TPS working in there,” he said.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:56 PM
WEBSTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts man has been accused of taking manhole covers from roads across the town.
Police in Webster said he was kind enough, however, to cover the empty holes -- which measure from 4 to 12 feet deep -- with traffic cones so no one would run over them in their cars, The Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram reported.
Darrin Lavallee now faces larceny charges, the paper reported.
Police were called by several eyewitnesses, who said they saw a man in a PT Cruiser taking the manhole covers. Eventually police found a car that matched the vehicle’s description and found orange cones inside. Police told The Telegram that the covers had been in the car recently.
Lavallee apparently told police that the manhole covers ended up at a local salvage yard, where police said he sold them, The Telegram reported. Police were able to recover the pilfered covers.