Solar Eclipse: What's all hype about?

Central Texans will only be getting a partial view of the “Great Eclipse” happening August 21st but there have still been a lot of people excited about the celestial event.

Jim Cutler is a voice-over talent for many TV stations including Fox 7 Austin, but he also calls himself a big astronomy nerd. “Rarely do we get to see something that delivers, like what's coming,” he said in his five minute video he put together of why the eclipse August 21st is so cool, “This thing is the Super Bowl of the sky, it's awe-inspiring. It's more rare than you think because the last time something like this happened where a total eclipse went all the way across the United States was 99-years ago, that's incredible,” he said.

The last total solar eclipse happened in 1979, but it only clipped a small corner of the United States in the Pacific Northwest and the weather was bad so not many people got to see it. This 2017 total eclipse will cover the entire nation from Oregon to South Carolina, even Alaska and Hawaii will be able to see it partially. 

Eclipses aren't anything new, we have annular eclipses covering up the sun, so why is this one so different?  “When the moon goes by it totally covers up the sun, that's the rare part. Most eclipses the moon is farther away and the sun peaks on through,” Cutler said.  In the path of totality, animals go to sleep because it gets so dark and stars come out.

Those with NASA even agreed, this is a really big deal, Dr. Madhulika Guhathakurta is an astrophysicist, “As a singular event of national scale and with a global audience the total solar eclipse of August 21st will rival the moon landing of 1969, as a landmark event for a new generation,” she said.

But this possible once in a lifetime opportunity could come twice for some, “If it's cloudy which is the one thing that could kill my eclipse viewing experience; I am going to be at the one in 2024. I might even be there anyway,” Cutler said.

If you think there is hype here in Central Texas, wait until the next total solar eclipse in 2024. The path for totality for that eclipse cuts right down the State of Texas.