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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

5 Fun Facts About the Solar Eclipse

Image credit: Space.com

Today, the first solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in 38 years will make the day go dark for a few minutes. In fact, even those who don’t live in the path of totality will get a partial eclipse making the event even exciting for those lucky enough to be in the path.

But even if you aren’t in the path of totality or even get to enjoy a tiny bit of the moon obscuring the sun, a solar eclipse is still a fascinating event that happens to have a lot of interesting trivia associated with it. Here are five fun eclipse facts to brighten your day (even in the darkness of totality).

The eclipse is guaranteed to happen

While some natural events don’t adhere to set schedules (we’re talking about you, comets and meteor showers,) solar eclipses happen exactly when science says they will. The Earth and the moon have very specific orbits and rotation that make it possible for astronomers to calculate down to the second how the eclipse will play out from start to finish. It’s pretty cool that in something as unpredictable as the universe at large that we can, even briefly, order it all by the clock.

X marks the spot

Seven years from now on April 8, 2024 the continental United States will get to enjoy another total solar eclipse, this one with even longer totality. It will cross the country on the east coast as opposed to the west coast of today’s eclipse and for people living in a few central states (like Missouri and Illinois) they will be in the path of totality again! That’s two total eclipses for them in seven years and while eclipse paths do cross, it’s not often that they do it in populated areas so people living in select central states are lucky indeed.

You can look at the sun without a filter or glasses at the moment of totality

You should never look directly at the sun without special protective gear and even during the majority of the eclipse you will have to wear safety glasses or use other means to watch the event without damaging your eyes. However, once the moon fully covers the sun and totality happens you can look at the sun safely with the naked eye. In fact, if you want to see totality you will have to take off your glasses. But you have to be careful. The moment the moon begins to move away the sun becomes dangerous again so mind your time and enjoy the eclipse while keeping your safety glasses handy.

The eclipse is kind of short by eclipse standards

At just under three minutes at the peak location for totality, today’s eclipse isn’t really that long. The longest possible eclipse duration is 7 minutes and 32 seconds. And if you happen to be alive on June 13, 2132 you will get to enjoy a total solar eclipse that lasts 6 minutes and 55 seconds, the longest since 1973.

Even if weather is bad, you won’t miss the eclipse

Okay, so you might not get to enjoy it live and in person, but since it’s been so long since the last total eclipse in the United States today’s eclipse is going to get a lot of media coverage. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you didn’t get eclipse glasses, or you just otherwise don’t get to enjoy the event in person, don’t worry. You’ll be able to watch it on television, online, or even just catch cool photos on social media. No one will miss out on this amazing natural event thanks to technology!

Are you going to be watching the eclipse? Let us know what your solar plans are in the comments!

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