Part of the Moon’s Shadow to Visit the Roaring Fork Valley

One of the more unique and unusual events we are likely to see in the next several years is a total solar eclipse producing a shadow that will travel across the entire continental United States on August 21, 2017. What makes this so unique? Since 1918, there hasn’t been one of these that has crossed the entire country. And it won’t happen again until.. well.. a really, long time from now.

This solar eclipse will produce darkness in portions of the country as the moon passes in front of the sun and casts a wide shadow upon the earth’s surface. In addition to darkness, the eclipse will produce major traffic jams. Hotel reservations are already difficult to find in what NASA terms “the path of totality.”

This area of ‘totality’ or the darkest portion of the shadow will be about 70 miles wide and will first be visible in Lincoln City, Oregon where the initial phase starts at just after 9 am. From there, the area of totality traverses southeast to around Charleston, SC. Within the 70-mile-wide shadow, the darkness will be at its most intense for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, depending on the location. The traffic tie-ups will last much longer.

The eclipse track will bring about a .9 magitude level of totality to the Roaring Fork Valley

Where to See the Eclipse

Fortunately, for us in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys, we will be in about the .9 magnitude range of totality. This is a remarkable event as records show that no solar eclipse of this intensity has been visible from this area, at least since 1900. So… this will be something to see and something that our children will be able to tell their grand kids about many years from now.

The eclipse in the Glenwood Springs/Carbondale area will begin about 10:20 am and will reach a peak at about 11:45 am on Monday August 21st.

How to Watch

Experts believe the major problems with the eclipse will be getting a hotel room in the path of totality and eye damage to people looking directly at the sun. As this is one of those extremely rare events, it will be worth seeing – just not without protection.

Solar-viewing glasses, eclipse glasses or personal solar filters are different names for the same thing – safety glasses. These are essential for watching the event. From beginning to end the eclipse will last up to nearly three hours depending on your location. The eclipse is one of those extremely rare events that will be worth watching. An unprotected look at the sun however, is sure to produce eye damage, so make sure everyone in your family has the right glasses.

Local stores are currently selling viewing glasses, but it is important to make sure that these will provide the protection needed. While supplies last, stop by your nearest 2020EyeCare center for a free pair of Eclipse Glasses.