At 10:15 a.m. PDT today, the shadow of the moon will sweep in off the Pacific Ocean and make landfall on the Oregon coast. As the moon passes in between the Earth and the sun, its shadow will cross the continental United States heading southeast, producing the first total solar eclipse to travel across the U.S. from coast-to-coast in 99 years.
The shadow will cross Idaho Falls, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; Lincoln, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; and finally it will cast Charleston, South Carolina in darkness before flying out over the Atlantic Ocean at 2:49 p.m. EDT—one hour and 34 minutes after it arrives on U.S. soil.
City planners in the path of totality are expecting throngs of eclipse viewers to swarm their communities and surrounding countryside, bringing what could be the . State patrols are warning drivers not to stop on the highways. Airplanes, , will take to the skies to fly in the shadow of the moon for as long as possible. None will keep up with the shadow, however, as it will cross the U.S. at about 2,100 mph, varying in speed as it flies across the curved Earth.
If you have made it to the path of totality for today's spectacle, make sure you are up to date on the best viewing practices with Seniorhelpline' Total Solar Eclipse Guide. Be on the lookout for the many phenomena that accompany a total solar eclipse, including just before totality begins, as the last light of the sun beams through the peaks and valleys of the lunar surface, crescent shadows coming through the trees and other pinholes, changes in color, the approach of darkness from the west, the stars and planets that come out during totality, snaking across the ground just before and after totality, the wispy atmosphere of the sun—or corona—only visible with the naked eye during a total solar eclipse, and the approach of light across the ground, like a midday sunrise, as totality ends.
The big one is finally here. Get your glasses ready.