Solar Eclipse

Just a bit after our Summer course ends, there will be a rare solar eclipse:
From the Register: "America will witness, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse stretching from coast to coast on August 21. The Sun, Moon and Earth will sit perfectly in a line. The Moon will block out the Sun, making the solar corona, a crown of hot plasma, visible. A shadow of darkness will be cast over the Earth in a 70-mile -wide swath. Fourteen states - Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina - will be within the Moon's umbral shadow and experience more than two minutes of darkness. The eclipse will begin its sweep over Lincoln Beach, Oregon, at 9:05am PDT and make it to Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:48pm EDT. Those in the rest of the country - in the penumbral shadow - will see a partial eclipse. The last time a total solar eclipse extended from coast to coast was in 1918, and the last total solar eclipse in America was in 1979. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, said this year's event, dubbed the Great American Eclipse, is not only important for science but is a chance to observe nature's impact on Earth. It's a time when celestial "bodies come into alignment in a cosmic moment. All of a sudden, day will turn into night and back again. And the world around us will react to it," he said during a live NASA briefing today. (...)"