Full solar eclipse will occur Aug. 1

Published 7:04 pm Saturday, July 19, 2008

It is a rare event that someone gets to witness an actual full solar eclipse.

The phenomenon happens only a few times and has a very narrow path of visibility.

“It is a very rare sight for someone to visually see a full solar eclipse,” said Jim Thieman, co-director of the sun-earth connection education forum at Goddard Space Flight Center. “The width of the trajectory path for the shadow blockage is actually fairly small compared to the earth’s surface.

“The actual shadow is only about 50 to 100 miles wide.”

The solar eclipse for this year is set to take place on Aug. 1 overseas, including places such China and Mongolia that will have the best view of the eclipse.

“There are many people who are willing to travel to see this incredible event, and they truly have good reason to. I have even traveled to see a full solar eclipse myself, and it was an amazing experience,” he said.

The next full solar eclipse that will take place in the United States is set to take place in 2019.

Even with the eclipse happening in the United States, people that are set on seeing it will still end up traveling to the projection site. Otherwise, only a partial solar eclipse will be visible.

“It is something to try and see in a lifetime if you can,” Thieman said.

For those who can’t travel to see the solar eclipse, a Web feed will be available for people to view.

Anyone that wants to learn more about solar eclipses or anyone that wants to follow the timeline for the next solar eclipse happening closest to them should visit nasa.gov.