The 67-mile wide path of the moon’s umbral shadow during the last total solar eclipse in this country began in the northern Pacific and crossed the U.S. from northwest-to-southeast through parts of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. It passed directly over such cities as Salem, Oregon, Idaho Falls, Idaho, Lincoln, Nebraska, Kansas City, Missouri, Nashville, Tennessee and Charleston, South Carolina. At any given location along the “totality path”, the eclipse lasted for around 2 or 3 minutes turning day into a dark twilight. Some stars even became visible during the event which lasted in its entirety for about three hours from start to finish.
Some important findings
The total solar eclipse of 2017 provided a rare opportunity to gather information for many scientific disciplines including solar dynamics, heliophysics and atmospheric science. For example, this was a great chance to study the sun’s wispy outer atmosphere called the corona as its overwhelming brightness usually drowns out the faint corona and not even a 99 percent eclipse will reveal the sun’s corona. Temperatures in the corona can reach 1 million °C, making the region much hotter than the solar surface, which is “just” 6,000 °C or so. How the corona gets so hot has puzzled scientists for decades and solar scientists gathered useful data during the total solar eclipse which is still being analyzed today.
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