Are you looking forward to the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21? Here is another reason why you should look forward to it: You can see other planets in the middle of the day.
Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter will all be visible during the eclipse in areas that will see a total eclipse. A 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse.
When the moon completely eclipses the Sun, the sky will quickly become twilight, resembling the amount of light visible shortly after sunset.
Areas such as Boise, Idaho, Kansas City and Nashville will be among the areas that will get to see the planets.
In major cities such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles, roughly 70 percent of the sun will be blocked during the peak of the eclipse. Major Midwest cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis and St. Louis will see at least 80 percent of the sun obscured by the moon.
During the eclipse, Jupiter will be visible in the eastern sky. Meanwhile, Mercury and Mars will be very close to the sun and moon in the sky. Venus will be just to the west of the eclipsed sun.
For areas experiencing a total solar eclipse, the sky will only darken for no more than 3 minutes. For those experiencing a partial solar eclipse, you’ll have to wait until after the sun sets to see Jupiter in the night sky.
But it turns out looking at a solar eclipse can be quite dangerous. According to NASA, a solar eclipse is only safe to look at with the naked eye when the eclipse is in totality. That means those without proper equipment would miss the dramatic moments leading up to totality.
Whether you live in an area that will have a total eclipse, or elsewhere in the US where up to 99 percent of the sun will be blocked, looking at an eclipse will require special equipment. Staring directly at the sun, even when the sun is 99 percent blocked, could cause damage to the retina.