Many things happen during a solar eclipse. Most are aware of totality when the moon completely covers the sun, but there are a lot of other things you can pay attention to maximize your solar eclipse experience.

In a video from Smarter Every Day, they discuss the different stages of an eclipse and the details that can be observed. From start to finish the 2017 Solar Eclipse will last only three and a half hours, but it is a once in a life time opportunity for most. Here are a few of the amazing things that will happen that day.

The world will be watching and waiting for this moment. It begins as the moon's wandering orb starts to graze the sun. The temperature drops as the lunar path blocks the sun. The wildlife panic thinking night is falling in the middle of the day. Then after hours of squinting behind cheap paper goggles, the solar eclipse reaches its zenith, totality. The moon has completely blocked the sun.


360 Panoramic Sunrise

It is happening all around you. When it is dark and around totality, make sure to look along the horizon. There is a 360-degree faux sunrise. Not to mention watching people's reactions might be fun in itself.


Not everything is in the sky, as shadow bands may appear 2-4 minutes before and after totality. These are gray shadows that appear to slither on the ground like snakes. From the few videos on YouTube, it looks similar to a mirage but with parallel wavy lines radiating away from the sun. The shadow bands don’t always happen at every eclipse, but it is a small detail to look for that will require you to stop looking up in the sky and look down at the ground.


This diamond is rarer than most diamonds pulled from the earth. It happens just before totality where the moon covers the sun and a ray reflects outward and looks like a diamond ring. This happens about 5 seconds before and after totality. This effect is very commonly reproduced in the space movie genre.


The moon is not a perfect circle. It has craters, hills, and valleys. So a keen eye (or good camera) can see some of these imperfections lit up like beads around the moon's shadow. This event happens in moments before and after totality. It takes place quickly if you blink you could miss it.



Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury will be visible by the naked eye during the eclipse. About a half hour before totality, Venus will become visible just west of the sun. Jupiter will be to the southeast of the sun and easy to spot. Once the sky is dark, Mars and Mercury will be seen near the sun. Look for Mars's red-orange glow. Mercury will be the most difficult to see with the unaided eye. If you really want to spot these plantes, make sure to pull up for favorite star chart app, because the eclipse only last a few minutes.


If you want to more about the timing and specifics of each of these events of the eclipse, watch the full video from Smarter Every Day.

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