Solar Eclipse Could Cost US Nearly $700 Million in Lost Productivity

The total solar eclipse of 2017 could cost U.S. companies nearly $700 million in lost productivity on Monday (Aug. 21) when workers pause to watch the moon block the sun.

Based an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worker outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that employers could lose as much as $694 million because of the solar eclipse, which occurs during a workday, company representatives said in a statement.

Challenger arrived at its cost estimate by using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 American Time Use Survey. The company used survey data for the country’s average hourly wage data and number of full-time employed workers age 16 and higher to calculate what the lost productivity on solar eclipse day would cost if workers took 20 minutes out of their day to observe the total solar eclipse.

Andrew Challenger, vice president of the Chicago-based company, told NBC News that he estimates 87 million workers across the country will take a break to see the solar eclipse. But in the grand scheme, that potential $694 million in lost productivity isn’t a major hit.

According to NBC News, worker distractions from March Madness can reach up to $615 million per hour as employees take time out to track college basketball games, set up brackets or catch up on game highlights. And there is a benefit to companies that celebrate the eclipse together, Challenger said.

“Since this is happening over the lunch hours, the financial impact is minimal. It offers a great opportunity to boost morale. Employers could offer lunch to their staff, give instructions on how to make viewing devices, and watch together as a team,” Challenger said in his company’s statement.

In fact, Space.com’s parent company Purch is one of the many businesses doing just that.

The roof of our New York City office — the home of Space.com — will be open for employees of our sister sites (and the entire nine-floor building) to observe a partial solar eclipse. At Purch’s headquarters in Ogden, Utah, employees will head outside to experience their own partial eclipse.

“Building in time around lunch to mark the special occasion will encourage employees to interact and have something to be excited about,” Challenger said in the statement.

Visit Space.com to see the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, with a live webcast from NASA beginning at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT).

CNN Will Livestream the Solar Eclipse in 360-Degree 4K

We’re just one week away from the United States’ much-hyped solar eclipse occurrence, and the frenzy surrounding the rare event continues. Joining a long list of companies and media outlets, CNN has revealed plans to livestream the solar eclipse in 360-degree 4K. Using multiple cameras, CNN will allow viewers to visually track the eclipse’s course as it unfolds along an Oregon to South Carolina path. The livestream event will be the central focus of the cable news company’s one-off program CNN’s Eclipse of the Century, which will begin to air at 1 p.m. EST next Monday, August 21.

Along with CNN’s 360-degree, 4K livestream, NatGeo and Airbnb have teamed up to send one lucky winner to view the solar eclipse from a special private jet. Even food companies have capitalized on the event; Krispy Kreme is celebrating the celestial happening with a new donut.

For the astronomy enthusiasts out there without access to cable television, tune into CNN.com/eclipse or CNN’s mobile apps and social media networks next Monday to view Eclipse of the Century from your smartphone or computer.

The Best Solar Eclipse Since 1918 Takes Place Next Month

In less than a month’s time, one of the finest solar eclipses since 1918 will pass across the United States. Weather permitting, the entire continent will be able to see the moon pass in front of the sun on 21 August 2017, as the total solar eclipse takes place.

Solar eclipse 2017: What time is the eclipse?

The total solar eclipse will start near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 10.15am PDT (1.15pm EDT) and totality will end at 2.48pm EDT near Charleston, South Carolina. It will last around one hour and 40 minutes.

Solar eclipse 2017: Where will the eclipse be visible?

The total eclipse will only be visible over the US. NASA has produced an animated video showing the path of the eclipse. It shows the umbra (depicted as a black oval), penumbra (concentric shaded ovals) and the path of totality in red. The sun is also shown in a number of locations.

The path of totality is around 70 miles wide and will cross from West to East. Its longest duration will be over Illinois, where the sun will be covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

[youtube id=”XX7AxZhPrqU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Solar eclipse 2017: What is a total eclipse?

The sun’s diameter is 400 times wider than the moon’s but is 400 times farther away. This geometry results in the sun and moon seeming to appear the same size when looked at from Earth. As they line up, the moon blocks the sun’s surface. This line-up occurs once every 12 to 18 months.

Partial solar eclipses occur when the alignment of the moon blocks only part of the sun, and these can occur more frequently.

During a total eclipse, the alignment occurs in such a way in which the sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona, appears to radiate around the shadow created by the moon. It looks like a ring of bright light bursting from the lunar disk.

Solar eclipse 2017: Why is the August eclipse so significant?

Beyond looking beautiful, and their rarity, total eclipses can be used for scientific purposes. In previous years, it has helped astronomers unlock the secrets of general relativity, coronal mass ejections, and the sun’s temperature.

“An eclipse teaches us so many things, but the 2017 eclipse is especially unique because of the uninterrupted land masses it will pass over,” said Dr Lika Guhathakurta, an astrophysicist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This will allow us to maximise our chance to collect data and connect the shadow of the moon to Earth science.”

The NASA-funded Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, Program recently released an app that people watching the eclipse can use to gather scientific data. Each phone running the app will act like a ground sensor, feeding back information about the eclipse to create a simulation of this year’s eclipse and build a so-called 3-D radiative transfer model.

You can download the app from the GLOBE Observer site. To gather data you’ll need to register to become a citizen scientist and use a thermometer to measure air temperature. The app will guide you through the steps for collecting the data points and your observations will be recorded on an interactive map.

For example, studying the corona and its role in space will help astronomers understand the relationship between Earth and the sun, and offer clues to future space missions.

Solar eclipse 2017: How to watch the eclipse safely

NASA advises watching the solar eclipse through a filter that minimises ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. Eclipse glasses can be bought online. The only time it is safe to look at the eclipse is during the phase of totality, when the moon fully obscures the sun, but this lasts for seconds so it is better to watch through a filter at all times.