Summer of the Solar Eclipse

it’s an astronomical summer at the ranch!

experience a solar eclipse while on your dude ranch vacation…don’t mind if i do!

Hello blog readers. We’ve been enjoying an epic season so far. Our ranch vacation guests have been straight up terrific, our team is energized, the weather has been summery, and to top it off the huckleberries are off the charts this year.  But we can do better than that?

Enter; total solar eclipse.

There is a major cosmic event taking place, August 21, 2017 and people are geeking out over it, including us. A solar eclipse means the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun. The last time the contiguous U.S. experienced a total eclipse was 38 years ago in 1979.

Sometimes when the moon orbits Earth, it moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth. This causes an eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse, or as I like to think of it, the moon high fiving the sun. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow onto Earth.

Now, for the full experience, where the moon completely covers the sun for a few moments in time, the place to be is the path of totality. The path of totality is a narrow strip, approximately 70 miles wide, spanning the U.S. from West to East.

Path of Totality

You can see from the map above we are just north of this path. That means, we will be experiencing a partial solar eclipse, 86.75% coverage of the sun to be exact. The height of the eclipse for our area is at 11:30 am and the overlap is expected to last approximately three minutes. During these three minutes the moon will cast a shadow onto Earth and in the middle of the day it will appear to be night.

In order to watch this phenomenon viewers should definitely wear proper safety glasses. I hate to be dramatic but Nasa.gov says “looking directly at the sun can permanently damage your eyes!” So do the right thing and order handheld solar glasses verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

During their ranch vacation our guests will be experiencing a partial eclipse (as shown above). We still think it’s a big deal, we’re only missing 10% of the pie. After all, Montana is renowned for its big sky so I can’t imagine a more ideal setting to view this extraordinary event. For everyone’s viewing pleasure we have ordered all of our guest’s safety glasses so they can witness this occasion first-hand. Let’s get this one right, as the next visit eclipse from the Lower-48 will be April 8, 2024.

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