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Solar eclipse 2017

August 18, 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the entirety of North America will bear witness to an eclipse of the sun, with the path of totality stretching across the country, from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east.

Let’s take a look at some of the key eclipse facts.

This is the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) for 38 years, the last one being back in February 26, 1979.

That year saw the release of the first spreadsheet program called VisiCalc, and was also the year that the first draft of the programming language Ada was released.

And while the worldwide web as we know it today didn’t exist back in 1979, online services such as MicroNet and Bulletin Board Services (BBSs) were available to those brave pioneers and the hardcore technorati.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast was almost 100 years ago, on June 8, 1918, the same year that the crystal oscillator, the cornerstone of digital watches and many other digital circuits that we rely on today, was patented by Alexander M. Nicholson at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

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