Start making plans now to witness a wonder of the solar system

solar eclipse

There are few natural wonders more majestic than a total solar eclipse. The skies take on an inky quality as our star is slowly obscured, and then as the sun completely disappears, for a few magical moments, its ghostly corona emerges. The serene, eerie atmosphere is a wonderful experience and one that will live with you forever.

Better yet, you don’t have long to wait until the next one. In just over a year’s time, on Monday, August 21, 2017, the USA will be front and centre for the greatest show on Earth. With demand for hotel rooms near the path of totality likely to be high, now is the time to make your travel plans. So grab your ESTA today, and start your preparations for this once in a lifetime experience.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total eclipse occurs when the path of the moon passes directly in front of the sun, as viewed from Earth. Although the sun’s diameter is 400 times larger than our moon’s, it also happens to be 400 times farther away from us. This fluke of celestial mechanics, which is unique in the solar system, allows the disc of the moon to perfectly eclipse that of the sun for a few fleeting minutes. However, the path of totality only traces a narrow corridor across the surface of the Earth, so it is vital to base yourself in the right spot, when the moment comes, to ensure you capture the moment.

Where can I view it?

The USA is particularly blessed during next year’s total eclipse. Not only is it the only country on Earth from which the full eclipse will be visible, but the path of totality will travel coast-to-coast. It’s the first time a total eclipse has covered the full width of the contiguous United States in nearly a century.

More than a fifth all US states will get a chance to enjoy the total eclipse. Sweeping from Oregon to South Carolina, the celestial event will take in parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. Be sure to not miss out on this stunning solar event and secure your flight, and esta, well in advance.