Space Awareness

10 Things to Know About the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Written by: developer

The Great American Eclipse will cross the United States, from coast-to-coast, on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Here are 10 fun facts that you need to know about this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

10. Total solar eclipses occur roughly every 18 months, but the majority of our planet is made up of large bodies of water, and these other eclipses are usually only viewable from the oceans or other remote areas of Earth, making them rarely seen by a large population.

9. The 2017 solar eclipse will go coast-to-coast across the U.S. The next like it will not occur until the year 2045.

8. Colorado will see about 90 percent of the Sun covered by the Moon.

7. The path of totality is about 70 miles wide.

6. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. The last time an eclipse went coast-to-coast was in 1918.

5. The Sun appears to be about the same size in the sky as our Moon. But the Sun is actually about 400 times larger in diameter than the Moon, and the Moon is about 400 times closer to Earth than the Sun, making the Sun and the Moon appear to be about the same size in our sky.

4. More than 12 million people live in the path of totality.

3. Camping sites in all 30 state parks in Oregon have been sold out since November 2016 for the dates around the time of the eclipse. They all sold out in less than an hour, as soon as the reservations became available. State representatives say that has never happened before. Oregon will be one of the most popular locations to view the eclipse, because of the expected ideal weather conditions.

2. The number of people in Casper, Wyo., is anticipated to increase by more than 50 percent the day of the eclipse, with nearly 35,000 visitors.

1. The Space Foundation Discovery Center, which is typically closed on Mondays, will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on August 21, for a public Solar Eclipse Viewing Party! Find out how to join the party here.

About the Discovery Center
Located only five minutes from Garden of the Gods Park, at 4425 Arrowswest Drive, Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation Discovery Center is the Pikes Peak region’s only space, science and technology attraction. Military discounts are available. For hours, pricing and other information, please visit, or call the Space Foundation at 719.576.8000.

Follow the conversation online with hashtag #EclipseDiscovery.

This article is part of Space Watch: August 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 8).