Today's Google Doodle Celebrates The Biggest Astronomical Event Of The Year

If you need another reminder that today is the biggest astronomical event of the year, you need only head to Google's homepage. There, the search engine's Doodle playfully animates the total solar eclipse taking place across the country.
The Doodle jokingly depicts two aliens playing catch with the moon, which covers the sun as it's tossed back and forth above the earth. The reality is that today, for the first time in 99 years, the continental United States will be cast in shadow as the moon passes between the earth and the sun (without aliens).
Courtesy of Google.
While the majority of the country will see a partial eclipse, those within the narrow path of totality, which begins in Oregon and ends in South Carolina, will see the moon completely cover the sun for up to two minutes and 40 seconds. This all takes place in the middle of the afternoon, which can throw biological clocks out of whack: According to Google's Doodle blog, the darkness and resulting drop in temperature causes animals to think it's nighttime.
There will likely be a mass exodus from offices, as everyone heads outside to look up at the spectacle (head here to track when it's happening in your area). If you're planning on doing so, make sure you wear eclipse glasses to protect your eyes from the sun's especially strong rays. If you can't get your hands on a pair of glasses, DIY your own pinhole camera to project the event instead. Whatever you do, don't risk looking up without the proper protection. The same precautions should be applied when snapping photos. Getting it for the 'gram isn't worth damaging yourself or your camera.
You can also stream the eclipse live from NASA, CNN, and other outlets, and catch on-the-ground footage through Snapchat's Snap Map and special Our Story.
However you choose to watch today's eclipse, take a few moments to appreciate that it is a rare, out-of-this world occurrence...even without Google's aliens playing a part.

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