Why is this solar eclipse so rare?

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN is counting down the days until the eclipse.

What you see on August 21 depends on where you are, whether you are treated to a total solar eclipse, or a partial one.

Solar eclipses are not rare. On average, you can find a total solar eclipse from somewhere on the Earth once every year and a half. What is unusual however, is this one is visible all across North America and the path of totality goes through so much of the United States.

The last time there was a solar eclipse that was visible from the West Coast to the East Coast was back in 1918 — so it is rare to see so much of this kind of eclipse.

Wichita and the entire KSN viewing area is outside of totality. Since you may not be able to get up to the direct path of totality, does it make sense to get closer to it? The experts say no. Whether you are in 96 percent or 90 percent, what you can see will be similar.

“If you miss out or heaven forbid it’s cloudy cause then all bets are off the sky will turn dark and the animals will do strange things but you won’t see much else,” explained Greg Novacek with Wichita State University.

If you do miss the upcoming eclipse, you will have to wait until 2024. The path of totality will go from New York down to Dallas, so you will have to take a drive to see it.


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