August 21, 2017 is expected to be the most popular vacation-day request in history, writes Michael E Bakich, senior editor at Astronomy magazine.
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The reason is, for the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the United States. Millions of Americans will be in near proximity of a spectacle that has been called "indescribable, unforgettable, even life-altering."
The last time a total eclipse was visible coast to coast was June 8, 1918, and it was front-page news nationwide. In "Plan Now for the 2017 Eclipse," Bakich takes very seriously the idea that if you don't plan ahead, you could miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
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The sun will disappear for about 2½ minutes, beginning in Oregon about 10:15am local time; the 'experience' will move eastward, ending an hour and a half later in South Carolina. In between, the eclipse will be visible from Grand Teton and the Great Smoky Mountains national parks, from St Louis and Kansas City and Charleston in South Carolina, and all points in between.
Many passionate bloggers are pointing out, and rightly so, that if you want to experience the life-altering moment, get a map and find yourself a spot where the eclipse will be total.
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In fact, a look around the Internet will show that hotels, lodges and campgrounds along the 50-to-70-mile-wide path of "totality" have been booking up since May, "Because no one wants to miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime experience."
This article originally appeared on Washington Post.
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