The following is an excerpt from Nick Thieme | August 16, 2017 | Slate.com |
On Monday, as you might have heard, the first total solar eclipse in more than a century will be visible in North America. Across a wide swath of the country, the moon will block out the sun, creating an awe-inspiring near-three minutes of total darkness and incredible views. A certain segment of the population, eclipse enthusiasts known as “umbraphiles,” have been planning for months—stocking up on special solar-eclipse glasses, planning themed festivals, and purchasing tickets to fly into what is usually fly-over country for the event. The short burst of eco-tourism is going to be huge: U.S News and World Report wrote one 1,600-person town in Idaho is expecting 100,000 visitors for the event. Hotels, Airbnbs, and even campsites have been booked for months.
So what if you forgot to schedule—or simply did not want to invest in—an eclipse getaway? We understand. It’s been a rough year.
If you don’t have a personal plane, it’s probably too late to get somewhere that’s in the “path of totality,” the 70-mile-wide path across the U.S where the sun will be completely blocked by the moon. (Fourteen states are inside the path of totality, and the biggest city in the path is Nashville. Being in the path will be pretty cool—once the moon covers that last 1 percent of the sun, it gets about 10,000 times darker. But even if you can’t get out there, thanks to the wonder of technology, you can still virtually watch the spectacle: NASA is live-streaming the view of it from 11 spaceships, at least three aircraft, and more than 50 balloons. You can also indulge your FOMO with the #eclipse and #eclipse2017 hashtags, where you can be sure the people who made it will share their experience.
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