The Most Watched Solar Eclipse In Human History
The last total solar eclipse was February 26, 1998 and almost the entire path of totality could only be viewed if you were at sea.
Only the smallest land mass area was included in the path and while scientists did gather to view it, very few others could share in the beauty and drama of the event. 1998 did have the internet and while various educational groups did share both the visual and educational aspects, they didn’t have the vast and encompassing social media network that we have today. The culmination of all of these elements catapults this one event as the most watched solar eclipse so far, in history.
Fast forward to August 21, 2017 and it will be the first total solar eclipse that will include the continental United States since February 26, 1979. The path of totality for this eclipse will pass through twelve states. There will be partial eclipses that can be viewed in parts of South America,
There will be partial eclipses that can be viewed in parts of South America, Africa and Europe. It is unknown how many people actually watched the 1979 eclipse that passed over the limited land locations. However this year, the 2017 eclipse will be an extravaganza like never before.
One might ‘begin’ with the experts, and NASA has established an informative website that covers an array of topics, from planning your eclipse party all the way to the various social media groups that will be having discussions and participating. Thousands of people will be making their way to the various parks and locations to see the view in person. Each of the states that the path of totality touches have an incredible number of special events. However, if you can’t get to these in person, NASA will have a
Tens of thousands of people (some estimate numbers into the millions) will be making their way to the various parks and locations to see the view in person. Each of the states that the path of totality touches have an incredible number of special events. However, if you can’t get to these in person, NASA will have a live stream webcast so that everyone can join in and watch one of the rarest events in the solar system.
There is no doubting that social media rules our society and there have been a few Facebook pages established to join and follow as they report the enormous opportunities in the country for viewing as well as get-togethers. Twitter has a number of plans for the event including hashtag followings for those that want to share their experiences.
Astronomy clubs and organizations will be in their glory, as this is the stuff of excitement and adventure for them. Astronomy.com has focused on locations, lists and information for everyone that wants to participate.
Mainstream media has already jumped in for the announcements. A preliminary article in the Washington Post has indicated that social media will be ‘exploding’ with the event. It is anticipated that as the date gets closer, a majority of the media will be adding articles to help people celebrate this once in a lifetime occasion. A quote from the same article:
“This will be the most photographed, the most shared, the most tweeted event in human history,” said one astronomer at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…..“Granted photography has only existed for about 200 years, so it’s a short history. But in general, we agree — the Internet won’t have the bandwidth for anything other than the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.”
Safety is a key priority for anyone that is planning on being upfront-and-center at the celestial event. All of the websites include information regarding eye protection and the appropriate solar glasses that must be worn. The Sky and Telescope site, along with many others, have a ‘how to view a solar eclipse’ section.
This is the ‘stuff’ that books are written about; the experiences that are shared from one generation to another, with images and memories that transcend time. How many people will be participating in the total solar eclipse? We will have to wait until after the fact as the data and statistics are tallied.
This will be the first time in human history that a total solar eclipse will be made available, real-time, to so many people around the world.
Resources & More Information
For answers to 76 Frequently Asked Questions on this Solar Eclipse, Click HERE for FAQ
For Google Map of the PATH of TOTALITY across the USA, Click HERE for Solar Eclipse MAP
For State by State Information on this Solar Eclipse, Click HERE for INFO
For T-shirts, mugs, pillows, tote bags to celebrate, to commemorate, Click HERE for GEAR