It's been 99 years, nearly a decade, since the last coast to coast total solar eclipse. In 3 days, a sight for sore eyes (let's make sure that's not a literal statement) will come into focus but only if you have the appropriate eyewear. You need to protect your eyes with solar eclipse glasses that have an ISO number AND the manufactures name and address on the glasses.
On August 21st, the Moon's shadow which is broken up into two parts, will fall on the face of the earth. The first part of the Moon's shadow is the Penumbra. It is the outer region of the shadow and observers on the ground see a partial eclipse. The second part is the Umbra. It is the darkest part of the shadow, the moon completely covers the sun. Observers on the ground will experience totality.
The Moon is tilted 5 degrees off earth's orbital plane, meaning the the moon's shadow rarely hits the Earth's surface and that is why solar eclipses are so rare. Even during a total solar eclipse, the umbra only covers a small area on Earth. Hence, the slim eclipse swath from the Pacific Northwest to the Carolinas.
The Umbra will take a little over 1 hour and 1/2 to go from Oregon to South Carolina. It will speed across the country at 1700 mph and above. With speeds that high, you only have about a minute or two for totality.
In Baltimore, the sky show begins at 1:18 p.m. The max eclipse is at 2:42 p.m. and it ends at 4:01 p..m. If you are unable to view this gem of all gems, another total eclipse will arrive in 2024.
But if you are lucky enough to see the total eclipse arriving in the next few days, then don't forget the CORRECT solar eclipse glasses, and the popcorn....Enjoy!