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Published: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 @ 3:43 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 03, 2017 @ 12:16 PM

Breaking News Staff

The Great American Eclipse will be visible across the country on August 21. 

In the Miami Valley, the solar eclipse will begin shortly after 1 p.m. Aug. 21. It will take the moon almost three hours to cross the face of the sun, from one side to the other. 

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Many cities across America will see a total eclipse, but our area will only have a partial eclipse. Almost 90 percent of the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. The last total solar eclipse that passed over the Miami Valley was more than a thousand years ago.

QUIZ: How much do you know about solar eclipses? 

VIDEO: How August’s solar eclipse will look in the Miami   

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The last total solar eclipse that was visible in the contiguous United States was back on Feb. 26, 1979.  

Sky Witness 7 has a several resources for everything you need to know about the eclipse:

There won’t be a total solar eclipse in the Miami Valley. Here’s what you need to know to safely watch the Great American Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse will be visible across the country in August. Watch this video to learn the when the eclipse will be visible in your community

A partial eclipse will start at 1:02 p.m. and end at 3:51 p.m. in Dayton on Aug. 21. Get more facts about the Great American Eclipse here

Check out the WHIO Space Glossary to learn the difference between an annular, hybrid and lunar eclipse. 

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HAVE QUESTIONS? Ask the Storm Center 7 team through their Facebook and Twitter pages. This story will be updated daily with the latest questions from you! 

Q: How long will the solar eclipse last when watching in the Miami Valley?

A: In Dayton, the moon will begin to eclipse the sun around 1:02 p.m. Then, the maximum eclipse or when the moon will cover most of the sun (about 89 percent in Dayton) is at 2:28 p.m. Finally, the eclipse will end around 3:51 p.m. This will make the eclipse about two hours and 50 minutes from start to finish. You can get the timing of the eclipse down to the second by finding your city right here.

Q: Where is the best place within 50 miles of Dayton to see the eclipse?

A: The farther southwest you go, the greater the eclipse will be. That being said, there will not be much variability within 50 miles of Dayton. For example, the sun will be eclipsed by the moon by approximately 89 percent in Dayton. Compare that to the sun being 91 percent eclipsed in Cincinnati. You would have to travel to southwestern Kentucky or middle Tennessee to see the total eclipse. But keep in mind, experts are warning of extremely heavy traffic on the day of the eclipse thanks to the “eclipse-chasers,” so be prepared! For complete details on the eclipse and to find out exactly when the start, peak and end times of the eclipse will be in your part of the Miami Valley, go to and click on #SkyWitness7


Q: What are the chances that we will have cloudy skies on eclipse day?

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A: During summertime there is always a good chance that clouds would develop during the heat of the day. The solar eclipse will occur between 1:02 p.m. and 3:51 p.m. in Dayton. Based on historical cloudiness data from the NOAA National Center for Environmetal Information (NCEI) 10-year hourly climate normals dataset, there is a 20 percent chance of an overcast day. Anything less than that should allow for better conditions to see the eclipse at some point. Here is a link to the website to see what is the likelihood a of a cloudy day in your neighborhood.

Q: What time does a solar eclipse occur? 

A: A solar eclipse can happen only when new moon occurs for the month and needs the orbit of the moon to line up between the earth and the sun just right to produce a shadow on the earth. We have a new moon each month but not always a solar eclipse because of the way the moon’s orbit is. Each solar eclipse begins around sunrise at some point in the path and ends around sunset in a different location at the end of the path. Specific timing of what you see depends on your location. In Dayton our max eclipse time will be around 2:28 p.m.. The next total solar eclipse seen in the US is April 8, 2024. 

You can find the specific timing of the start, max and end of the eclipse in YOUR city by clicking here.

Q: What makes this a total solar eclipse? 

A: The Great American Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21 will be a total eclipse, which means the sun will be completely covered by the moon. There are usually 2 and up to 5 solar eclipses every year, but they are usually not a total eclipse, meaning they will not be completely covered. But on Aug. 21, parts of the country will be in the path of totality, meaning that the sun will be completely covered. In the path of totality, it will be safe to look directly at the sun. Outside of the path of totality, it is not safe to look directly at the sun.

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Q: Will there be a temperature change when the solar eclipse happens?

A: Yes. As the moon moves in front of the sun, there will be a noticeable change in temperature. It will get darker and feel cooler as a result of the sun’s rays being blocked by the moon.

Q: Can we look directly at the eclipse or do we need special glasses?  

A: Because we will not be in the path of totality in the Miami Valley, it is not safe to look directly at the eclipse, even during the maximum locally. We will get about an 89% eclipse, meaning the moon will cover 89% of the sun. This means that roughly 11% of the sun will still shine during the maximum. The best way that you can see the eclipse, is with special glasses or by creating your own viewfinder. 

How to watch the Great American Eclipse safely