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Less Than 100 Days Before the Great American Eclipse -- Here's What You Need to Know

May 15, 2017 11:25 AM EDT
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The U.S. will experience the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21. During the total solar eclipse, daytime will turn into darkness as the moon blocks the Sun.
(Photo : National Astronomical Observatory of Japan via Getty Images)

The Great American Eclipse, the most popular total solar eclipse to be seen in the U.S., is less than 100 days away. Scientists and enthusiasts are already prepared to witness the rare celestial extravaganza.

Researchers have been preparing for the great American eclipse for years. This is because the whole of America will succumb to darkness when the moon, sun and the Earth align, blocking sunlight to reach the planet.

Not only will the light stop shining during the great American eclipse, experts say that in repercussion, the temperatures will also drop. One striking event that's visible during a total solar eclipse are the bright stars that will all be visible during daytime due to the darkness caused by the great American eclipse.

The great American eclipse will occur on Aug. 21, 2017. During the total eclipse, the sun's corona will also be visible in the darkened daytime sky. This will be the first time a total solar eclipse of the sun will occur since 1918.

Oregon and South Carolina will have the greatest view with the 70-mile-wide stretch across the states, according to EcoWatch. However, this also means, they will experience the greatest loss in solar energy.

Understandably, turning daytime into a twilight zone is a rare celestial event for enthusiasts and stargazers to anticipate. But for astronomers, researchers and scientists, the great American eclipse is a rare window to collect data in order to further understand the phenomenon. This event offers them a peek into the Sun that's usually hidden by the Earth's atmosphere or blocked by its intense solar energy.

The data collected may provide new information about the Sun's magnetic field, its atmosphere, temperature and its energy in general. Scientists are carefully preparing for the natural phenomenon because, in rare celestial events like this, anything can go wrong.

"I've had those experiences and it's heartbreaking," Shadia Habbal, solar wind expert from the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy said in an interview.

During the great American eclipse or the total eclipse, 99 percent of the sun's light will dim. However, experts say that the remaining 1 percent is still capable of illuminating the sky, just enough to highlight the moon's edges and the sun's corona.

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