In case you wonder this tomorrow when you are checking eclipse times ...

The total eclipse starts in Salem OR at 10:18 Pacific Time. It starts in Columbia SC at 2:47 Eastern Time. There is 3 hours difference between Pacific Time and Eastern Time so Salem OR gets the total eclipse 89 minutes before Columbia SC.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The moon rises in the east and sets in the west. But the eclipse starts in the west and moves east. This didn’t make sense to me so I put some thought into it.


The moon orbits the earth, albeit slower than the earth rotates on its axis. The moon takes 27 days to get around the earth and orbits in the same direction as the earth rotates. Of course the earth takes only one day to rotate. So although they are rotating the same direction the moons slower orbit speed relative to the earth’s faster rotation speed makes the eclipse rising / setting work backwards.

There, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

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