Health and Beauty

Microdermabrasion Newport Beach

Solar eclipse guide: Where to watch, how to watch, and why it's such a big deal

A little primer before Aug. 21's solar eclipse.

What’s the big deal, anyway?

Barbara Anthony-Twarog, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas, has been asked that question a lot lately. But she was kind enough to humor the Journal-World by answering our layman’s queries anyway.

“It is true that this is the first time in about a century that a total eclipse has been visible in the United States,” says Anthony-Twarog, before that quipping that she’d “be happy if it’s successfully over in another week or so.”

As ubiquitous as it’s become this summer, media hubbub surrounding the Aug. 21 eclipse is very much warranted, Anthony-Twarog says. A total eclipse (we’ll be getting very, very close to that in Lawrence) occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, blocking out the sun entirely.

“If you’re in the path of totality, it’s not just better or longer — it’s actually really different,” Anthony-Twarog says. “If it’s totally eclipsed, it is a unique experience. There will be people who will go to extraordinary lengths to get somewhere in the path of totality.”