Solar Eclipse by the numbers

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In less than two weeks, the United States will experience a rare solar eclipse where the moon will come between the earth and sun and cast its shadow across the country. It occurs on Monday August 21st.

For most, it will be only a partial solar eclipse but for a lucky few, a total eclipse will occur where the disk of the moon with cover the entire sun for several minutes. In Syracuse, we will just see the partial solar eclipse.  It will be an interesting astronomical event but not as dramatic as totality. Make sure you don’t directly look at the sun during the eclipse unless you have special eye protection. Our Dave Longley has some tips article he posted a week ago. Click here to find out more.

There has been a lot of talk already leading up to the eclipse but here are some numbers about the eclipse you may not know.

0    The number of hotel rooms on Hotel.com available the night before the eclipse in Nashville Tennessee (one of the larger cities in the path of totality). In Casper, Wyoming only one hotel out of 28 in and around the city have hotel rooms available. The Sterling Hotel and Extended Stay had 3 rooms left at $2,500 for one night!

14  Number of states in the path of totality from coast to coast.  It will cross the Oregon coast and exit near Charleston South Carolina. This is the first total eclipse over the lower 48 states since 1979. 

50 Number of states that will see at least a partial solar eclipse

68 Percentage of the sun blocked by the moon in Syracuse during the eclipse.  This will not mean it will be 68% darker than normal in Syracuse. Even places that reach 99% won’t get the true spectacle that comes with totality.

156  Number of minutes the partial solar eclipse will last in Syracuse.  It begins at 1:17 pm Monday August 21st, reach its peak at 2:38 pm and end at 3:53 pm. During that entire time you should NOT look directly at the sun without proper eye protection.

160 Number of seconds totality will last in Carbondale, Illinois (longest period of totality for this eclipse)

818  Driving miles to Columbia, South Carolina (nearest big city to Syracuse in path of totality) Google maps says this is a 12 and a half hour trip with no breaks.

1918 The last year the United States had a continent-wide total solar eclipse.

2,955 Speed in miles per hour that the total eclipse will be travelling when it when it first reaches the Oregon coast at 12:05 pm EDT.  It  actually slows down to 1,462 mph when it reaches Kentucky because the moon’s shadow hits the earth more directly there. The total eclipse leaves the South Carolina coast at 2:44 pm EDT.

2,432 Number of days until total solar eclipse in Syracuse !  (Based on Friday August 11th) It will occur April 8, 2024 and yes, we will be smack dab in the middle of the path of totality. That will be a big deal for us! Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate.

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