a map of the solar eclipse
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States.

Nothing I Can Do, A Total Eclipse of the Sun

Although everyone in North America will be able to view an eclipse of the sun on Monday, August 21, 2017, there is a specific narrow swath approximately 70 miles wide from Portland in Oregon to Charleston in South Carolina under which a total eclipse of the sun can be viewed and offer the rare treat of being able to view the corona of the sun with the naked eye.

Nothing I Can Do, A Total Eclipse of the Sun

NASA eclipse map
Click on the map for an enlarged view. Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States.

A special Internet web site which was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States — which is more popularly known as NASA — devoted specifically to the total solar eclipse expected to occur next month offers plenty of information pertaining to where to go and how to safely view this celestial phenomenon.

In addition to the map shown above, an interactive map is available for your use — as well as instructions on how to use it.

The entire event is expected to last between two hours and three hours. Approximately halfway through the event is when the total eclipse of the sun will occur, which should last up to three minutes. A total solar eclipse is not completely dark, as the brightness is roughly the equivalent of what is experienced during a full moon.


Lodging arrangements may be difficult to arrange near or under the direct path of the solar eclipse — but the United States is a huge country; and there should still be many places where you can view the total eclipse of the sun.

Members of FlyerTalk have been planning on viewing this event from different parts of the United States for almost a year — as have other people who have been planning even longer — and you are welcome to join them.

Alaska Airlines is planning a flight from Portland at 7:30 in the morning Pacific Daylight Time and fly off the coast of Oregon to “chase” the solar eclipse, allowing guests aboard the airplane to be among the first of millions to witness this phenomenon. Although you cannot book a seat and participate in this flight — participants must have received an invitation to be passengers aboard the airplane — but Alaska Airlines is giving one lucky person and a guest a chance to win a seat on the airplane for this special flight through a contest which begins on Friday, July 21, 2017 through the official social media channels of Alaska Airlines.

Other events are also being planned all across the United States — including in national parks and at museums — and you can decide which ones you might be interested in participating.

In any event, this is the first time in 99 years when a total eclipse of the sun traverses the United States from coast to coast and the first first total solar eclipse which has been visible in the continental United States since 1979; and if you miss this event this year, the next total solar eclipse of the sun over the United States is expected to occur on on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States.

An Example of a Mind Gone Awry

By the way, the inspiration for the title of this article was the hit song Total Eclipse of the Sun, which soared to the top of the charts back in 1983 for the late Bonnie Franklin — who was the original star of One Mile at a Time before Ben Schlappig was born — just after she married Steve Tyler of Aerosmith and assumed the married name Bonnie Tyler. She did this not long after her former co-star Mackenzie Phillips concocted the popular drink called the Phillips Screwdriver, which is part vodka, part milk of amnesia, and — well — I forgot the rest of the ingredients of that drink.

Wanting to capitalize on the success of the acting career of his wife Bonnie, Steve Tyler decided to form a partnership with Steve Perry — who is a former lead singer of Journey — and open a movie studio in Atlanta. Unfortunately, the original name Rock Steves sounded too similar to Rick Steves; so they settled on the name Tyler Perry Studios — and the rest is history…

…or — on second thought — maybe not…

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