The "Great American Eclipse," a total solar blackout cutting a 70-mile-wide path through the continental United States, is just a year away.
The eclipse will darken a strip of the country on Aug. 21, 2017, and will be the first total eclipse that's only visible in the U.S. since the country was founded, said USA Today. The event will also be the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire country in 99 years.
Retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak said on MrEclipse.com that the eclipse will cut a "70-mile-wide path of totality," turning day into night for almost three minutes while the rest of the country will be able to view a partial eclipse.
Cities expected to be directly under the moon's shadow include Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Lincoln, Nebraska; Kansas City; Nashville; and Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, said USA Today.
Cities within a one or two-hour drive of the shadow include Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Rapid City, South Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; Topeka, Kansas; St. Louis; Louisville; Knoxville, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Charlotte.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson shared a map of the eclipse's path on social media on Sunday.
"It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the moon completely blocks the sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the sun's corona shimmers in the darkened sky," said Michael Zeiler on GreatAmericanEclipse.com, one of several websites linked by NASA for more details about the event.
Towns like Idaho Falls are already getting a flood of inquiries and reservations for the eclipse, according to the Post Register. In nearby Rexburg, Idaho, the AmericInn Inn is already sold out for the eclipse date, noted the newspaper.
"I had no idea it was that big" hotel general manager Trish Siepert told the Post Register, adding she has received phone calls from as far away as Denmark and Taiwan inquiring about room availability.
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