Thousands of people will leave home and work to chase Monday’s solar eclipse. Tour groups are selling out; hotels are full along the path of totality. Why bother?
This eclipse doesn’t promise earth-shattering scientific discoveries. Despite passing over a huge swath of the country, it won’t intersect with any major solar observatories, such as the ones in California and New Mexico. It’s not a particularly long eclipse. There’s no Concorde aircraft flying along at supersonic speed, keeping up with the shadow of the moon as it passes across the Earth, as there was in 1973.
Yet this eclipse is worth the hype because of its power to inspire those who take the time to watch. It will go all the way across the country, and it’s the first eclipse to hit the lower 48 since 1979. That one only passed through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota. For this one, the USA has a front-row seat, as perfect as you could want. Instead of flying to Uzbekistan or Norway to see the eclipse, you can just drive down the road to Wyoming or Kentucky.
Full article here (USA Today, Aug 18 2017)