Astronomer's everywhere are gearing up for the Great Eclipse of 2017. On August 21, 2017, the earth will see a total eclipse of the sun and NASA has shared this great online app to give science enthusiasts an idea of what our view of the eclipse will look like based on the location of our choosing. Brought to us by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, NASA's Eyes application allows the user to see what areas will have the best viewing opportunity of the eclipse and to input a location of their choice, by typing in a city or choosing the city on an interactive globe.
The image below is a screenshot of NASA's Eyes application with Anchorage, AK chosen as the location input. Visit eyes.nasa.gov to get an idea of the eclipse path in your area.
This app allows the user to play an animated simulation, showing the location of the moon in relation to the sun based on the area and time. To launch the application, navigate to the link below, this will launch the interactive web app:
This will take a moment to load, but once complete will present a blue "Enter" button to continue. From here the user is instructed to click the globe for the area or use the menu. Select "Got It" to continue. From here, you can:
Choose an Area - To begin, click the plus (+) button on the left to type in your location, or click on the map. If the area you're searching for doesn't show on the globe, click and drag the globe to re-position the image. Once the area is in view, click to select the city, then choose "+Add"
Choose a Time - A user can play the entire simulation by pressing the play button and also includes a slider so you can pick a time of the day to show it's relation.
Choose a View - See what the eclipse will look like from the earth or moon or see the relation of the earth, moon, and sun together.
From here, play around with different areas of the globe to see who will and will not have a view of the total eclipse.
Want more information? NASA has also set up a site designated to learning about the eclipse offering educational opportunities and safety tips as well. Check it out at eclipse2017.nasa.gov.
Want to share more with your kids, PBS has a great learning site with video demos explaining the science behind the eclipse as well. See alaskapublic.pbslearningmedia.org for more info!