The Great American Eclipse by the Numbers

All the buzz on social media is about the Great American Eclipse.  Since we are accountants and like to deal with numbers let’s put some numbers behind it.

The Great American Eclipse will happen on Monday August 21.  It will take 90 minutes and cross directly over 12 states as it makes a path across North America.

In Fort Wayne, we will only see a partial eclipse that will start around 12:59 pm, reach the max at 2:25 and end around 3:47.  We will only see approximately 90% of the sun covered.

To see the eclipse in totality you will have to drive approximately 280 miles southwest into Kentucky.  There are 12.25 million Americans living in the path of totality.  They are predicting anywhere from 1.85 to 7.4 million visitors will travel to the path of totality to view the total solar eclipse across the United States.

Places across the path are already sold out of hotel rooms and camp sites are going fast for as much as $150 a spot.  The places they are expecting the most viewers are in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Oregon.

Since 1503 there have only been 15 total solar eclipses that have crossed this same path.  The last total solar eclipse visible in the US was on February 26, 1979.  The next total solar eclipse over the US will be on April 8, 2024 and will cross from Texas to Maine (too bad we will have our heads down finishing up those last-minute tax returns).

To view even a partial solar eclipse, it is recommended you purchase eclipse viewing glasses which fortunately are relatively cheap at $1-$3 per pair.  You of course could spend hundreds of dollars on special binoculars, filters, etc.  Or you can use your cell phone to snap a selfie with those rad glasses on.

They say there is nothing like seeing a solar eclipse in totality, but I will be excited to see it at least partially.  If you have any questions, please make sure you do not call between 2:20 and 2:30 on Monday August 21st as I will likely be standing in the parking lot with some cool glasses on!

Karena Sylvester


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