I'm starting this new thread on the solar eclipse because my previous thread, started last year, is looking a bit dated, and I wanted to stress the urgency of preparing for a total solar eclipse that is now less than two weeks away.
Numerous websites on the eclipse can be found by searching on "solar eclipse." Many of them have excellent maps. One I've found helpful is http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/maps.htm
. It shows the complete path of the eclipse across the U.S., then splits the path into 9 sections, each of which can be made full screen and printed.
The science and astronomy magazines have of course given the eclipse thorough coverage. Astronomy magazine devoted the August issue to it. Sky and Telescope issued a special edition on it, available at Barnes and Noble where I purchased mine. It includes a pair of cardboard-type eclipse eyeglasses. My only disappointment in this special edition is that it has no article explaining the west-to-east movement of the eclipse.
I've stocked up on eclipse viewing equipment, including Slooh solar eyeglasses and Meade 10x50 binoculars with removable solar filters. I'll watch with the eyeglasses until the moon begins to cut into the sun, then I'll switch to the filtered binoculars. At totality I'll switch between naked-eye viewing and unfiltered binoculars to get the full effect of the spectacular total eclipse. Naked-eye viewing is safe at totality.
So why does the eclipse move from west to east? Our normal experience is that the moon moves from east to west. That's because the earth rotates toward the east. But all the while, the moon is moving in its orbit from west to east (counterclockwise as seen from above the north pole). In watching the moon from earth's surface, the rotation of the earth outpaces the moon's movement in its orbit, so we see the moon moving from east to west. But for solar eclipses, the moon's movement in its orbit dominates, so we see the eclipse moving from west to east.