On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. This is your guide to understand, prepare for, and view this rare celestial event.


What you will see

Copyright © Geoff Sims, 2013

Copyright © Geoff Sims, 2013

A total solar eclipse is unlike anything you've seen in your life. You will see an eerie quality of sunlight as totality approaches, followed by the astonishing sight of day turning to night and the Sun's corona blazing in the sky.

Splendor >

Where to go

Detail of 2017 eclipse map

Detail of 2017 eclipse map

This is truly a great American eclipse because for the first time in 99 years, totality will sweep the nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Nearly everyone in the 48 contiguous states can reach this total solar eclipse within one day's drive.

Maps >

How eclipses happen

Detail from Smith's Illustrated Astronomy, 1860

Detail from Smith's Illustrated Astronomy, 1860

An eclipse is a cosmic billiard shot — the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up to reveal the ethereal and ever changing atmosphere of the Sun called the corona. Eclipses on Earth occur only because of an amazing celestial coincidence.

Basics ›