The Solar Eclipse in Dallas
Let’s talk about the August 21st, 2017 Solar Eclipse!
For millennia, humans have found solar eclipses awe inspiring. When we knew very little about our solar system and the Earth’s position in it, humans viewed solar eclipses as supernatural occurrences, celestial miracles. Now, we appreciate solar eclipses as magnificent natural phenomena. Solar eclipses are even more astounding now that we know how they occur. Every month, the moon goes through many phases: new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter and waning crescent.
During an eclipse, the moon is in the New Moon phase. This is when the elliptical plane of the sun and moon match. Typically, during the new moon phase, the moon cannot be seen from the earth. However, when the moon crosses in front of the sun during a New Moon, a solar eclipse is the result. Solar eclipses occur when the moon’s orbit passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow on Earth—a moment of perfect alignment between the Earth, the moon and the sun.
Not every planet experiences solar eclipses, and few experience any given eclipse here on Earth. The moon can block out the sun even though the sun is approximately 400 times larger than the moon, because the sun is also about 400 times further from the Earth! These perfect ratios allow the moon to completely eclipse the sun leaving only the atmosphere of the sun—the corona—radiating from behind.
Earth will not always experience total solar eclipses. Each year, the moon moves three inches further from the Earth. In the distant future, the moon will appear smaller than the sun and will not create a total eclipse, but rather an annular eclipse.
Today, August 21st, a solar eclipse will occur with a “path of totality” that will span the country from west to east. The path of totality is the area directly beneath the dark inner shadow on the moon, the places in the country from which a person can observe the complete, 100% eclipse. You certainly won’t want to miss this amazing event, as there will not be another solar eclipse in the United States until 2024. The map above illustrates the magnitude of eclipse visible across the United States.
Dallas will see about a 75% solar eclipse due to its distance from the path of the Moon’s inner shadow. This rare sight is sure to amaze. In the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, we will be celebrating this spectacular natural wonder from the rooftop Moody Oasis. Catch a breath taking view of the Great American Solar Eclipse over the Dallas Arboretum today from 11:40 a.ma to 2:40 p.m.. The maximum eclipse visible from Dallas will occur at 1:09 PM. Remember to always use proper eye protection when viewing the sun!
Even during a solar eclipse the sun could cause serious damage to your eyes. That’s why we will give away solar viewing glasses while supplies last. See you there!