Total Eclipse on Monday, 21 August – What are your plans?

The Total Eclipse will occur over these USA on Monday.

The Eclipse will take place 54 days before the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima… the length of a 54 Day Novena.

Also, because a total eclipse can only take place during a New Moon, 21 August will also be the 3rd New Moon of the season, which only occurs every 33 years.  The last time an total eclipse occurred on the 3rd New Moon was 99 years ago in 1918, which was also the last time the path of a total eclipse crossed the continent from coast to coast.

The next total will be in 2024.  HERE  It’s path will intersect with this year’s eclipse’s path near the legendary New Madrid fault… which probably means nothing.  Unless it does.  After all, in 1812 when that fault decided to do something, the Mississippi ran backwards for a bit and temporary waterfalls formed.

Be sure to check out Space Weather. Apparently, NASA has developed a model to predict the shape of your planet’s yellow star’s corona.

I, for one, plan to be in the Show Me State, where the cosmos will… wait for it… show me the eclipse.  Did you see what I did there?

For your location… HERE – really cool …

What are your plans?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    I will be at work.

  2. VeritasVereVincet says:

    I will be in Minneapolis, so only partial for me. My parents will be in Lander WY visiting my sister, so they all get to see the totality. (Lucky stiffs.)

  3. bobbird says:

    In the Spirit of Impulsiveness, we decided to make a quick dash from our home in Alaska, taking a convenient non-stop to Portland. Happily, we have friends and a loaner auto awaiting us, saving us price-gouging. In addition, the Green Side looks to be clear skies that day, saving us the dicey prospect of driving across the Cascades for better weather. The only thing we have to worry about would be massive traffic jams. To avoid this, we plan to drive the 50 miles in the wee hours and using back roads. I will be holding an eclipse post-mortem on my radio talk show, The Bird’s Eye View, heard 3-5 PM daily (Alaska Time) online at Fr. Z and all readers of his blog are welcome to listen and join the conversation sometime next week. Studio is 907-283-5811. We will discuss the astronomical, social and religious aspects of the eclipse and even though it is a secular station, also the Fatima anniversaries.

  4. Jason the Gray says:

    We shall be part of the Zombie Traffic Apocalypse in Alliance, NE… or as close as we can get by the time. At least it won’t be as bad as Casper, WY and other points along I-25… Colorado is already putting commercial vehicle restrictions up to keep oversize trucks off the road through the weekend, since the entire Front Range population is driving north. It’s going to be epic.

    Eclipse glasses are going for $20 or more on the black market around here.

  5. lmgilbert says:

    Been there, done that, so while we are in Portland I will probably be sitting here as usual, working away or surfing the net, depending

    However, the eclipse that I experienced some years ago as I was taking a walk near Midway Airport in Chicago was kind of a revelation. As it got darker and darker the birds got very excited and were twittering away in alarm, or joy, or . . .

    But the remarkable thing to me were the shadows on the sidewalk. Evidently as the sun streams through the leaves and branches it usually leaves little images of itself on the sidewalk, for all of a sudden I noticed that as the moon bit off a bit of the sun, the sidewalk was filled with little crescents. So, forget the goggles, find yourself an urban setting and go for a walk :)

  6. youngcatholicgirl says:

    We’re fortunate enough to be ninety minutes from Land Between the Lakes Recreational Area, which is in the line of totality. As a result, there will probably be a mob, so we’ll stop at the first reasonable spot along the road that we can.

  7. Elizabeth M says:

    I will be on my knees, praying with my children, that if any of this movement in the heavens means that something awful is coming that we will be under Our Lady’s protection and have God’s Mercy. Maybe it means the triumph of Our Lady? Oh! It could be like a reverse Miracle of the Sun!

    We’ll be at home. I don’t understand the energy and money spent by people on seeing a 2 minute display.

    Confession if needed, Sunday before.

    Looking forward to seeing the number of people who go blind. Many people don’t understand how real eclipse glasses work and think that if they squint they will be fine. I guess no one outside the Boy Scouts learned how to make an eclipse box?

  8. Amerikaner says:

    The center path also appears to go through Perrysville. If I remember correctly, isn’t the national shrine of the miraculous medal there?

  9. Amerikaner says:

    hhmmm and to add to my last post… looks like the path in 2024 also hits around Perrysville… :-)

  10. pannw says:

    We are about 5 miles south of totality near Nashville, the largest city that will see it. We are NOT going into Nashville, where they are expecting upwards of 1 million possible visitors, hotels (not luxury ones) are going for over $1000 a night and are 99% sold out at last report, interstates turning to parking lots, and they are warning of possible cell phone service outages due to overloading. Hopefully they are overestimating the draw.

    Still, we are driving into the boondocks and stopping at the first country church parking lot or wide place on the road we can get into.

    Elizabeth M, I don’t know that I would spend a lot of money, but I do think it is a very special event, a total eclipse of the sun. For one thing, we are told in Scripture that God uses the stars and planets for signs, and during a total eclipse, we will be able to see stars and planets that are otherwise hidden, due to the sun’s brightness. (I’m hoping we don’t see Wormwood lurking up there, but it really wouldn’t surprise me, all things considered! But that’s for another post.) I went to a lecture given by our local planetarium and they have maps to show what stars and planets will be visible during totality. I have to remember to print that off. We will also be able to see the corona and beautiful things like the diamond ring effect…I’m very excited about it. It is a very special and rare view of such an important part of Our Lord’s creation!

  11. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I was blessed to move to Nashville TN in July 2017 for a surgical fellowship. Unless something unexpected happens in the OR I should be able to enjoy it. Already have my solar eclipse glasses and everything.

  12. bookworm says:

    Our current plan is to drive from Springfield IL to Salem IL on Sunday, stay overnight at a motel there and then drive another 50 miles or so – using back roads as much as possible – into the totality path around Pinckneyville IL. I intentionally targeted that area because it is relatively sparsely populated and the communities around there did NOT have any major eclipse events planned (at least as of a couple of weeks ago), so I figure we might be able to avoid the huge crowds (I presume all the eclipse buffs will be headed farther south to Carbondale). I’m just hoping and praying clouds don’t spoil the view.

  13. bookworm says:

    Elizabeth M and pannw: If you read the personal accounts of people who have seen total solar eclipses, they ALL seem to agree that it is an awesome, even life-changing event. Even hard core science types who are more likely than not agnostic or atheist will admit that it moves them in a way they can’t fully explain. I suspect (won’t know for sure until I actually see it) that it is the closest you can come in the natural world to seeing the face of God. Perhaps it touches people in their souls even if they don’t believe they have one, and gets them to thinking about higher things…. If you live hundreds of miles away I can understand not trying to go at this late date, but since I’m within what would normally be a 2-3 hour drive from the totality path, I figure it’s worth a try.

  14. Sword40 says:

    Not even going to get excited. I’ll watch it on the internet if I remember.

  15. JesusFreak84 says:

    Honestly, probably nothing. I doubt I’ll get a good view of it where I live anyway, even if I wasn’t too lazy to make a pinhole box.

  16. mbarry says:

    Going to watch it here in Nashville!

  17. LuxPerpetua says:

    I will be waiting patiently and resignedly for the great miracle of Garabandal, where all will be intimately made aware of the state of their own souls and consciences before God before the final chastisement marking the transition to the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth, as a fulfillment of sorts of the Blood Moon prophecy, now ending in two solar eclipses over the US, the new Roman Empire, also signaling (hopefully) the end of the Modernist, Marxist and Masonic takeover of Church on the OF feast of Pope St. Pius X on 08/21, a day before the feasts of the Queenship and Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the end of the Octave of Easter, Divine Mercy or Quasimodo Sunday in 2024, also an election year. X marks the spot.

    I might be startled by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and power-communications-grids shutdowns from a large solar flare or coronal mass ejection scorching the Earth’s crust and me along with it, even a potential fire from heaven in the form of a large space rock or gamma ray burst randomly hitting us, but not surprised, given the warnings from scientists and the state of the now globalize world, mired in sin.

    Of course it will also just be another day at work. Kyrie eleison.

  18. Absit invidia says:

    enjoying the partial eclipse from home and not chasing after signs in the sky . . . because a wicked generation seeks for signs.

    [People can go to see the eclipse without “seeking signs”.]

  19. BenH says:

    We’ll be traveling back to visit family near StL, MO. I can’t decide if I want to participate in the Solar Eclipse QSO Party. If I do, listen for W0BPH. I’ll be in grid square EM48jt.


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  20. Andrew says:

    When I was a young boy, in the Fifties, we picked up broken pieces of glass and held them over a candle till they turned pitch black and then we watched a solar eclipse through a piece of blackened broken glass. Now, they are selling millions of mass produced “solar eclipse glasses”: the sign of the times: everything must be institutionalized, we can do nothing on our own.

  21. ericrun says:

    Staying Sunday evening with my wife’s family on a farm 85 miles west of St Joseph, MO, where they will have 2 minutes of totality. The weather in the area is varying between 20-40% change of inclement weather during the day on Monday, so I’ll be watching the radar to see if we’ll need to move to see the main event.

  22. Mary Jane says:

    Will enjoy the partial from home; we are expected to see about 75% coverage. We are at least an 8 hour drive from the path of totality…not making the trip.

    Don’t forget to take precautions to protect your eyes, and your children’s eyes!

  23. Sonshine135 says:

    We are going to hotel in Aiken, SC, and maybe work our way North to Greenville, SC. I am open to church recommendations.

  24. Lisa Freeman says:

    Our town is in the full eclipse path and on a major North-South freeway. We are preparing for a natural “disaster”. We all stocked up on gas and groceries last Monday – gas lines were already unbelievable by Thursday. No deliveries Monday, garbage service is delayed, and the hospital scheduled no surgeries so they can focus on ER. They plan to stage emergency vehicles every 5 miles along the freeway. All of the vacant farm fields have been rented out, and they are importing porta-potties from Idaho.

    We plan to walk to morning mass as usual, and then prepare to enjoy the eclipse viewing in our backyard, perhaps with some neighbors. It all should be very exciting, whatever happens.

  25. pannw says:

    “enjoying the partial eclipse from home and not chasing after signs in the sky . . . because a wicked generation seeks for signs.”

    Ouch…I suppose that was a not too subtle swipe at me, since I mentioned how scripture states that God uses stars for signs and seasons…, so I will respond, if I may. I am not ‘chasing’ signs when I go off into the boondocks. Like Fr. Z said, I am going to see a great natural wonder of our world. Frankly, I don’t think one would have to go to the path of totality and actually see it if one thinks the eclipse is a ‘sign’, (and I admit that I do think it probably is, and there is a very compelling argument that the ‘sign of Jonas’ Our Lord refers to in that very passage was an eclipse, presented by a man named Emmett O’Regan who has a blog called Unveiling the Apocalypse).

    But when Our Lord said that “a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…” He was responding to men asking Him to perform one as proof that He is the Messiah. I never asked for a sign, and need no sign in an eclipse, nor do I think somehow it will show me something I don’t already believe or know. It’s a total eclipse, a rare opportunity, and should be very very cool.

    That doesn’t mean that I ignore many other things that are to be found in Sacred Scripture, like the sign of Revelation that is happening in the heavens now, coming to culmination 33 days after this eclipse. Nor do I ignore that the Feast of St. Michael this year coincides with the Jewish feast of Atonement 40 days after the eclipse (like the 40 days warning at Nineveh). Should I pretend there is nothing to the fact that all of this is happening in the 100th anniversary year of Our Lady’s warnings from Fatima (particularly in light of the headlines in the news showing that Russia’s errors have clearly been spread) and that the sign of Revelation started on the very Feast of Christ the King and day Pope Francis called an end to the Year of Mercy? Why do you suppose the Vatican owns one of the largest telescopes in the world out in the desert of Arizona? Watching for ‘signs’, maybe? Is it a coincidence that it was Pope Leo XIII, (of the St. Michael Prayer) who reestablished the Vatican Observatory and renewed the Church’s support for astronomy? Is it odd that this hasn’t happened in the US since 1776? Do all these coincidences mean anything? Is it better to pretend they aren’t occurring, to bury my head in the sand so that I don’t appear to be ‘chasing signs’? Are they coincidences or has Our Lord truly used them for signs and for seasons…? Why did God tell us about them through Scripture if we are supposed to just ignore them? There is a huge difference in watching for signs (which thankfully the Magi were doing and so found their way to Our Lord at Bethlehem) and asking to be given one.

    I believe the Scriptures are true, so I am not asking God to give me a sign, but I’m not going to ignore when they seem to appear right in the sky above me, either. I don’t suggest that I know for a fact that they are, nor do I pretend to know exactly what they mean, but I do think something is happening and have ideas about it.

    But Monday, I just plan on enjoying a breathtaking spectacle of His creation, weather permitting.

  26. raven31 says:

    I’ll be at Benedictine College for freshman orientation. The school is right in the path of the shadow.

  27. Suburbanbanshee says:

    In general, astronomical events are not signs of anything but God’s beautiful and reasonable creative power, as demonstrated by His beloved artwork, the universe. In particular cases, of course, God has used them as signs; but they also occur fairly frequently, at times when nothing particularly bad or good is happening or soon to happen. Sometimes they are “just for pretty,” although of course they also help scientists earn their bread and learn new things!

    In either case, there is no reason to approach solar eclipses themselves with fear; they are pre-scheduled “spotlight moments” in the dance of the solar system. To regard them with awe and delight is to appreciate God’s handiwork. Many of the Fathers wrote about eclipses of the Sun and Moon. St. Isidore of Seville wrote a lovely poem about a lunar eclipse, if I recall correctly.

    The Moon is of course a symbol of Mary and the Church, and the Sun is a symbol of Jesus the Bridegroom. To see the Moon “clothed with the Sun” on the eve of the Queenship of Mary is not a bad omen, I would think. And it goes beautifully, for either Mary or the Church, with the old line from the Song of Songs, “I am dark but beautiful.”

    The heavens tell out the glory of God, and the firmament announces the work of His Hands.
    Days utter speech to days, and nights point out knowledge to nights;
    There are no speeches or languages in which their voices are not heard.
    Their sound has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
    He has set His tabernacle in the Sun….

  28. Figaro says:

    Homestead National Monument, Beatrice, Nebraska.

  29. I’ll try to do birdwatching. It gives me an opportunity to pray and birds act funny during eclipses.

  30. un-ionized says:

    Andrew, smoked glass is dangerous. It’s still possible to sustain a thermal burn of the retinas, which isn’t fixable. You were lucky (as well as thorough with your smoking).

    Partial eclipse here, I will poke a hole in foil and project it on the sidewalk or something.

  31. un-ionized says:

    If God had put the moon in any other orbit we would not see such an event. It’s in just the right place for its size and the size and distance of the sun.

  32. Mike says:

    I’ll be driving back from Notre Dame after dropping off my daughter. I don’t plan on stopping.

  33. Fiat Mihi says:

    I will be in beautiful Beatrice, Nebraska with a large number of students from Mary Our Queen school.

  34. Cicero_NOLA says:

    I plan to observe the sun’s total blockage by the Earth as it will be night here in Japan. I’ll probably watch a YouTube video after the fact, because I’m sure it will be very cool.

    As a side note, Father, I believe one of your posts on astronomy initially piqued my interest in your blog. Thank you for sharing your interesting travels and hobbies along with solid advice and Church news.

  35. pelerin says:

    Andrew’s comment brought back the same memories. I still remember pieces of thick broken glass being handed out at school and being told to hold it over a candle until it was well blackened. It was all part of the excitement of the day though no doubt with the Health and Safety laws today it would not be allowed. It must have been sometime in the early 1950s. I don’t think the eclipse tomorrow will be visible from Britain as no mention has been made.

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