7 things to know about the rare total solar eclipse crossing the nation this August

Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 6:26 PM

WATCH: Rare Total Solar Eclipse Coming in August 2017

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.

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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.

» RELATED: Photos of the 'Supermoon' eclipse around the world

Most accurate map of the eclipse’s path of totality to date

NASA data visualizer Ernie Wright created the most accurate map of the 2017 eclipse path to date.(NASA)

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

Screenshot of what Atlantans will see in the sky during the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, according to the Google-Berkeley simulator.

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.

» RELATED: New color-changing #EclipseStamps honor 2017 total solar eclipse, magically transform into moon

“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.

Find out what the sky will look like in your city.

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, OregonTotality begins at 10:19 a.m. PDT and lasts 2 minutes, 4 seconds.

Snake River Valley, IdahoTotality begins at 11:33 a.m. MDT and lasts 2 minutes, 18 seconds.

Casper, WyomingTotality begins at 11:42 a.m. MDT and lasts 2 minutes, 4 seconds.

Sandhills of western NebraskaTotality begins at 11:49 a.m. MDT and lasts 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

St. Joseph, MissouriTotality begins at 1:06 p.m. CDT and lasts 2 minutes, 39 seconds.

Carbondale, IllinoisTotality begins at 1:20 p.m. CDT and lasts 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds.

Hopkinsville, KentuckyTotality begins at 1:24 p.m. CDT and lasts 2 minutes, 41.2 seconds.

Nashville, TennesseeTotality begins at 1:27 p.m. CDT and lasts 1 minute, 57 seconds.

Great Smoky Mountains National ParkTotality begins at 2:35 p.m. EST and lasts 1 minute, 17 seconds.

Columbia, South CarolinaTotality begins at 2:43 p.m. EST and lasts 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Plan on traveling within or from Georgia? Head to Rabun County, about two hours north of metro Atlanta, where the eclipse will begin at 2:35 p.m. and last 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

» RELATED: Georgia state park named one of world’s top stargazing spots 

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.

More about how Georgians can catch the event.

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.

» RELATED: The best views of the total eclipse 

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?

(GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

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.

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'Pawn Stars' patriarch Richard Harrison, known as 'Old Man,' dead at 77

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 11:35 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

‘Pawn Stars’ Richard Harrison Dead at 77

Richard Harrison, best known by his nickname "The Old Man" on History's "Pawn Stars," has died, family members confirmed Monday. He was 77.

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Richard Harrison’s son, Rick Harrison, confirmed the news Monday on social media.

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“He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad,” Rick Harrison wrote. “That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor.”

Richard Benjamin ‘The Old Man’ Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved. He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over. He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and ask that we are provided some privacy at this time.

A post shared by Rick Harrison (@rick_harrison) on

Employees at Gold and Silver Pawn, the family-owned Las Vegas shop at the center of "Pawn Stars,” said in a statement Monday that Richard Harrison “was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.”

“The team at Gold & Silver Pawn and the Pawn Stars family is grieving his loss,” the statement said. “He will be remembered as the best father, grandfather and great-grandfather you could have by his family and by fans as the sometimes grumpy (always loving, however), often wisecracking, and voice of absolute reason on the History television show ‘Pawn Stars.’”

Richard Harrison was born March 4, 1941, in Danville, Virginia. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he moved to Las Vegas in 1981 and started Gold and Silver Pawn with Rick Harrison in 1989, according to Fox News. He appeared in all 15 seasons of "Pawn Stars," which debuted in 2009.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne, and their three sons, Rick, Joseph and Chris.

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Firefighter killed, 2 injured in shooting after fire at California retirement home

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 12:25 PM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 12:25 PM

Shooting at California Retirement Home

A shooting at a senior housing community in Long Beach claimed the life of a firefighter and left two other people injured Monday morning, according, according to authorities.

 

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Update 12:25 p.m. EDT June 25: Firefighters released a photo of Long Beach Fire Capt. David Rosa, 45, who died Monday after he was shot while responding to a fire at Long Beach’s Covenant Manor.

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Update 12 p.m. EDT June 25: Officials identified the firefighter killed Monday in the line-of-duty as Capt. David Rosa, 45, of the Long Beach Fire Department.

Fire Chief Mike Duree said Rosa joined the department 17 years ago. He was made a captain six and a half years ago, the fire chief said.

“This is a tough day,” Duree said Monday in an emotional moment at a news conference.

Rosa is survived by a wife and two children.

“We’ve lost a family member,” Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna said.

A second firefighter was in stable condition and expected to recover after the shooting, according to officials. Luna said a third person, identified only as a civilian, was also shot. The civilian was in critical condition Monday.

Authorities recovered a weapon after the attack, which took place while firefighters were responding to a report of a fire at Covenant Manor.

“That’s the environment that we work in today as law enforcement and firefighters,” Luna said. “You go to these scenes and you never know what’s on the other side of those doors. And these brave firefighters, they went through those doors and they were unfortunately met with gunfire.”

Luna said authorities had a person of interest in custody after the shooting.

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT June 25: A firefighter who suffered critical injuries Monday morning in a shooting in Long Beach has died, KTTV reported.

One other firefighter was in stable condition after the attack, Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin said earlier Monday. A civilian was also shot.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT June 25: Firefighters found sprinklers going off at Covenant Major after they were called just before 4 a.m. local time to a report of a fire at the retirement home, Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin said. 

Officials had also gotten reports of an explosion in the building and found multiple windows had been blown out, although authorities couldn’t immediately confirm that an explosion had taken place, Heflin said.

Firefighters put out a small fire at the scene. It was while officials were checking to make sure all the fire had been put out that two firefighters were shot, Heflin said. Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson said one civilian was also shot.

One firefighter suffered critical injuries. The second was in stable condition with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

“Firefighters, they do a tremendous job and they deal with fire -- they don’t deal with bullets,” Johnson said Monday morning at a news conference. “It’s a sad time in Long Beach’s history today if you have firefighters injured responding to just doing their job.”

Johnson said a resident of the senior living home, who was not injured, was in custody after the shooting.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 10:07 a.m. EDT June 25: Two firefighters who were injured Monday morning at Long Beach’s Covenant Manor suffered gunshot wounds, fire officials confirmed.

 

One firefighter was in critical condition after the shooting, KNBC reported. The other firefighter suffered injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the news station.

Officials told KTLA that a civilian was also injured. 

Update 9:35 a.m. EDT June 25:  Fire officials told KTLA that two firefighters and a civilian were injured Monday morning at a California retirement home where shots were heard early Monday.

The extent and cause of their injuries were not immediately known.

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 25: Long Beach police confirmed to KCBS-TV that officers were responding to reports of a shooting Monday morning at Covenant Manor on E. 4th Street.

“All I can confirm at this time is that there has been a shooting,” Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson told KCBS-TV. “(It’s) not an active shooter situation. (The) investigation is ongoing.”

Update 8:55 a.m. EDT June 25: Authorities continued Monday morning to search the retirement home, identified by KCBS-TV as Covenant Manor. 

The news station reported authorities were called just after 4 a.m. to a report of an explosion and shooting at the building, however, officials did not immediately confirm the report.

Two people told KTLA they heard what sounded like gunshots in the area early Monday.

 

Update 8:05 a.m. EDT June 25: According to KCBS-TV producer Mike Rogers, an “active shooter and 3rd alarm fire” were reported early Monday in Long Beach. 

KTLA’s Alberto Mendez reported that the incident occurred “at a retirement home near the area of 4th and Atlantic.”

“Suspect is still possibly in the building,” he added.

One woman told KTLA that she heard gunshots.

Read more here.

 

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Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker: 'I love my son, but these allegations are serious'

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 12:21 PM

Massachussetts Gov. Charlie Baker. File photo. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Massachussetts Gov. Charlie Baker. File photo. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)(Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

The U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating allegations that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's son groped a woman on a flight, the governor said Monday morning. 

At a brief news conference from his office, Baker addressed the news that his son, A.J., was accused of sexual assault aboard a flight from D.C. to Boston. 

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"Look, I love my son, but obviously these allegations are serious," Baker said. "He will comply with the U.S. Attorney's Office."

Baker declined to answer many questions and said he wouldn't comment further because it is "a personal matter for (his) family."

Reports surfaced Friday that A.J. Baker was involved in an incident on June 20 aboard a JetBlue flight. 

Sources told Boston 25 News a female passenger accused the governor's son of groping her breast on the flight. 

When a reporter compared the situation to that of former Mass. Senate President Stan Rosenberg's husband, Baker was quick to respond that an independent investigation is underway -- which he called for in Rosenberg's case.

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Jimmy Carter: What to know about the former president and humanitarian

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:52 PM

What You Need to Know about Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter served as the 39th president of the United States, from 1977 to 1981, but before that, he was the 76th governor of Georgia and a member of the Georgia State Senate. 

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Although he’s had a lengthy career in politics, Carter has  worked as a diplomat and humanitarian. He’s also authored dozens of books.

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Here are some things to know about President Carter.

Naval Academy graduate

Carter graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, at the top of his class in 1946. He started a Navy career soon after, spending five years on submarine duty.

Related: Photos: Jimmy Carter through the years

Father of four

Carter married Rosalynn Smith, who became Rosalynn Carter, in 1946, soon after graduating from high school. They had four children: Jack Carter, born in 1947; James Carter, born in 1950; Donnel Carter, born in 1952; and Amy Carter, born in 1967.

Photos: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's 70-year marriage

Rebuilt family’s peanut warehouse

In his hometown of Plains, Georgia, Carter’s parents, Earl and Lillian Carter, owned a peanut farm, warehouse and store. When Earl Carter died of cancer in 1953, Carter resigned from the Navy, came back home and worked to rebuild the business. Despite a drought in 1954 and a boycott against integration, Carter made the business profitable by 1959.

Related: How Jimmy Carter changed the world

Devoted to humanitarianism

The Carter Center opened in 1986, and its mission, in partnership with Emory University in Atlanta, is to resolve conflicts and improve human health through a commitment to human rights. Part of that work led Carter to be honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Cancer survivor

Carter was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in August 2015. While teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, he said he had surgery on a mass on his liver and had radiation treatment on four melanoma spots in his brain.

Despite the diagnosis, Carter remained active in his humanitarian work, helping build a Habitat for Humanity house in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Related: Carter: Cancer is gone

By December 2015, Carter said, “My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones.”

In May 2016, Carter Center director of communications Deanna Congileo confirmed that Carter did not need any more treatments but would “continue scans and resume treatment if necessary.” 

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