“This will be no ordinary day,” write Mark Littmann and Fred Espenak in the opening lines of their book Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024. The two veteran eclipse chasers are doing their part to prepare us for a rare natural phenomenon that will be on display across the continental United States on August 21. Millions already live under the path of the total solar eclipse, and an untold number of travelers will be able to take in a sight that eclipse junkies claim will change you forever.
Rural towns across the nation are gearing up for the spectacle. The population of Glendo, Wyoming, for example, will swell to 500 times its normal size on the big day (see “Tiny Towns,” below). If you want to do more than watch, all you need is a smartphone to become a two-minute eclipse scientist: Between the extraordinarily large and easily-accessible totality path and the power of modern technology, the August event is poised to be the most heavily recorded solar eclipse in history. Click on the sidebar links for maps and places to order your eclipse glasses (or get a free pair from a participating library). Have you made your plans? Don’t miss your chance to see this incredible event.