Timekeeping, as we’ve written about on Worn & Wound, extends far beyond the art of watchmaking and into almost every aspect of our lives. One of the most ancient and visceral ways that time affects the world is the rare and dramatic solar eclipse. True total eclipses are uncommon, occurring somewhere in the world once every 18 months or so, but finding them twice in the same location is next to impossible—a total eclipse of the sun occurs in any exact location only once every 360 to 410 years.
With that in mind, today is a very special day indeed: for the first time since February 26, 1979 there’s a total solar eclipse on U.S. soil, but it’s more than that. This eclipse has the potential to be the largest in American history, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina and covering 14 states in its totality. In addition, it will also be visible as a partial eclipse in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Central America, northern South America, Western Europe and slivers of West Africa and the Chukchi Peninsula in Russia. In short, it’s going to be a big one.Not only will it be a big one in the sky, it’s projected to be just as massive here on the ground. Upwards of a million people are projected to be present for today’s event, coming from every corner of the nation to the thin 70 mile wide strip of totality. Salem, Oregon; Craters of the Moon, Wyoming; St. Louis, Missouri; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee and dozens of cities in between are holding eclipse viewing events and NASA are even offering a live stream of the astronomical oddity. With so many ways to observe the eclipse, there’s really no excuse not to—after all, it truly is a once in a lifetime piece of cosmic timekeeping.
For the full rundown, including times, visit NASA’s dedicated Eclipse 2017 page.