For the first time in nearly 100 years, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse that will pass through several states from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Here’s a quiz to test and expand your knowledge about solar eclipses.

1) When was the last time a solar eclipse passed over the United States from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts?

a) August 21, 1917 – exactly 100 years ago

b) June 8, 1918 – nearly 100 years ago

c) July 4, 1776 – the first Independence Day

d) May 29, 1919 – when a solar eclipse proved one of Albert Einstein’s theories about general relativity

2) How many states will experience the totality of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017?

a) All 50, including territories and islands

b) Just five – the other 45 states will be sad

c) 14 – nearly one-third of the states

d) 13, but that would be unlucky

3) What is a solar eclipse?

a) It’s when God needs to recharge the batteries in the sun

b) It’s when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours

c) It’s when the sun needs to cool off for a while, so the moon tries to do the sun’s job

d) It’s when it gets dark during the day, but no one can explain why

4) What are “Baily’s Beads?"

a) The effect seen just before and just after eclipse totality when only a few points of sunlight are visible through valleys around the edge of the moon

b) A Pintrest project

c) Necklaces that belong to someone named Baily

d) When the moon covers the sun and it looks like a big bead in the sky

5) What’s the name of the song and artist behind the lyrics, “ ... you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia/To see a total eclipse of the sun?” (This is the only known recorded song that mentions a specific solar eclipse.)

a) “Big Ol’ Jet Airliner” by the Steve Miller Band

b) “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon

c) “Moon River” by Frank Sinatra

d) “Blue Moon” by Billie Holiday

6. How many people in the United States live within a day’s drive of the path of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017:

a) 1 million people

b) 100 million people

c) 2 million people

d) 200 million people

7. Where and when is the first point of contact in the United States where the total solar eclipse will be visible on Aug. 21, 2017?

a) Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT

b) Ruby Beach, Washington at 8:47 a.m. PDT

c) San Francisco, California at 9 a.m. PDT

d) Capetown, California at 8:55 a.m. PDT

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8. Where and when will the total solar eclipse end in the United States on Aug. 21, 2017?

a) Savannah, Georgia at 3 p.m. EDT

b) Virginia Beach, Virginia at 2:45 p.m. EDT

c) Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT

d) Atlantic City, New Jersey at 3:05 p.m. EDT

9. What effect does a solar eclipse have on humans?

a) During a solar eclipse, humans will eat supper for lunch because it’s dark outside

b) During a solar eclipse, hair on humans will stand on end for 2 minutes

c) During a solar eclipse, there is no physical effect on humans, but sometimes there are psychological effects

d) During a solar eclipse, humans will feel 10 years older

10. What is the width of the path of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017?

a) 1 mile

b) 70 miles

c) 7 miles

d) 10 miles

ANSWERS: 1. b), 2. c), 3. b), 4. a), 5. b), 6. d), 7. a), 8. c), 9. c), 10 b)

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter @MRBrownTandD.


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