What kind of eclipse are you likely to see? Let our visualizations show you

The path of the eclipse is 70 miles wide meaning most of the US will see a partial eclipse. Mona Chalabis visualization will give you a sense of what you should prepare yourself for

A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, the first in 38 years. As the moon passes in front of the sun, a shadow will be cast across all of North America. But the way that will look depends on where you are in the country.

The path of the total eclipse (when none of the sun is visible) is only 70 miles wide, so unless youre an eclipse chaser and willing to travel, youre more likely to see a partial eclipse.

(Note: these visualizations are inspired by the word mooning, which has been in use since about 1600 and means exposing to moonlight.)

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The totality of the eclipse in various parts of the US Photograph: Mona Chalabi for the Guardian

If the image above looks ever so slightly imprecise, it should. Even Nasa concedes that perfectly calculating the mathematics of the eclipse is difficult because the universe is more subtle than that.

Nasa explains:The earth is neither smooth nor perfectly spherical, nor does it rotate at a perfectly constant, predictable speed. The moon isnt smooth, either, which means that the shadow it casts isnt a simple circle. And our knowledge of the size of the sun is uncertain by a factor of about 0.2%, enough to affect the duration of totality by several seconds.

In other words, theres still a lot we dont understand about our universe. Contemplate that as you enjoy Mondays moon miracle.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/20/total-solar-eclipse-monday-data-visualization