Courtesy of Georgia Emergency Management Agency / Homeland Security & Bryan County Emergency Services
Total Solar Eclipse
On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, and will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.
Who Can See It?
Lots of people! Everyone in the contiguous United States, in fact, everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse, while the thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states. Atlanta is just outside the totality path and will witness a 97 percent partial eclipse.
- The average width of the path of totality is 71.5 miles across the state of Georgia.
- The central line covers a distance of 12 miles across Georgia.
- The average central line duration of totality is 2 minutes and 38 seconds across Georgia.
- The average speed of the moon’s shadow is 1456 mph across Georgia.
- Before 2017, the last two total solar eclipses visible from Georgia were on March 7, 1970 and May 28, 1900.
- After 2017, the next two solar eclipses visible from Georgia will be on August 12, 2045 and March 30, 2052.
What Is It?
The celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.
How Can You See It?
You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. That could severely hurt your eyes. However, there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing – which requires some type of filtering device and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. Both methods should produce clear image of the partial phase of an eclipse.
Do I Need Any Equipment to View the Eclipse?
Anyone planning to view the total solar eclipse of 2017 should get a pair of solar viewing glasses. These protective shades make it possible for observers to look directly at the sun and after totality. The following four companies sell eclipse glasses meet the international standard (ISO 12312-2) and are recommended by NASA, the AAS and other scientific organizations: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.
|Blue Ridge||Cornelia||Helen||Rabun Gap||Toccoa|
|Clarkesville||Dillard||Martin||Sky Valley||Young Harris|
Links to pages for communities in Georgia that are in the eclipse path.
Public Safety and Emergency Management Considerations:
Only the extreme northeastern corner of Georgia will be within the totality path for the eclipse. This area is primarily rural where the roadways and telecommunications infrastructure could be easily overwhelmed with the estimated 100,000 or more observers projected to visit northeastern Georgia to view the eclipse. Communications providers are also deploying mobile assets to provide additional network capacity, however the providers are still predicting slow and in some cases no wireless network access.
With the influx of visitors comes and increase in vehicles on the roadways, resulting in traffic congestion leading up to the eclipse as people arrive early to obtain a vantage point and as the visitors return home following the event. While the totality of the eclipse (total eclipse) will also for under three minutes, in Georgia, effects of the eclipse will be visible for nearly five hours. In some areas, hotel and motel capacity has been exhausted which will lead to much larger than normal populations. Public safety should consider increasing staffing levels to meet any increased calls for services for police, fire and emergency medical personnel.