A MESMERIZING TIMELAPSE OF THE SOLAR ECLIPSE

For those of us fortunate enough to have witnessed a total solar eclipse in the flesh, we’re aware of some of the more visually stunning properties of the celestial phenomenon. But since we’re not all experts in the unending mysteries of the cosmos — and don’t all have access to a rooftop within an eclipse’s direct path — it’s good to get reacquainted with just how the moon looks when traversing the sun’s glowing surface.

That’s why YouTuber Scott A. Stevenson, a.k.a. WorldScott, made a delightful timelapse of the total solar eclipse from November 2012, which tantalized viewers near Cairns, Australia. The video was compiled using 1,990 images from that eclipse, using camera-equipped telescopes over the course of several hours. He notes that 507 images of totality were snapped in a two-minute period. What follows is a mesmerizing tease that should get you exciting for Monday’s historical event, as the first total solar eclipse to occur solely in the contiguous United States in 38 years spreads its shadow across a massive path sprawling from Oregon to South Carolina.

While the eclipse hasn’t even happened yet, it’s causing a fair bit of panic on American roadways, with epic traffic jams engulfing various small towns in the eclipse’s path. But if you’re willing to brave the traffic that will undoubtedly color your journey to any number of ideal eclipse-viewing locations, you can still save a bundle on cheap campgrounds within the eclipse’s path. Who knows, who might even be lucky enough to bare witness to some of the more bizarre and mysterious facets of the eclipse, like “shadow snakes” — a phenomenon that scientists are still struggling to fully understand.