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It’s a Solar Eclipse!

Did you know that Monday August 21, 2017 is a very special date?

According to NASA, on that day, “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, will stretch from Salem, 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.”

Why is this eclipse so special?

According to an article by, “this so-called Great American Eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse to touch the continental United States since 1979, and the first to cross from coast to coast since 1918. Not until 2024 will another total solar eclipse cross the continental U.S., though that eclipse will be visible only east of Texas.”

What can I see and where can I see it?

The eclipse “will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. People who descend upon this “path of totality” for the big event are in for an unforgettable experience.

There are many organizations across the continental United States that are planning activities and festivals to watch (and celebrate) this unique opportunity. From local libraries and members of NASA’s Museum Alliance to National Parks and Zoos, there’s sure to be something for everyone!

Check out this list to see if a viewing party or festival is being planned near you! Or you can watch it on your own. To find out locations for total eclipse viewing near you and some information on safety and activities for those viewing this amazing event, check out NASA’s Total Solar Eclipse 2017 page It’s got activities, events, broadcasts, and resources from NASA and their partners across the nation.

Need ideas for activities to help your Girl Scout learn about this historic eclipse? Check out Girl Scouts of the USA’s Eclipse Box Activity Guide. Filled with hands-on activities to help girls explore the sun, light, our solar system, as well as eclipses, you’re sure to find something fun to do.

You can also use them after the eclipse is over. As the guide says, while the activities “are designed to help girls prepare for the total eclipse of the Sun in 2017, they can be used beyond the eclipse as part of your Girl Scout programs. And, there is another total eclipse of the Sun crossing the US in 2024!”

So what are you waiting for? Grab some solar eclipse shades, your Girl Scout, and start making plans for August 21, 2017!

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