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'Great American Eclipse' expected to sweep the United States in two months

'Great American Eclipse' expected to sweep the United States in two months

Even more remarkably, it is the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse to cross only American soil - or at least what would become American soil - in more than 750 years.

NASA is preparing to transmit this event live from space, air and from the ground.

There's an wonderful event going on in the sky in August of this year, and it's one you're not going to want to miss.

About 12 million people live along the line of totality, a 70-mile-wide (113 kilometers) path from OR to SC where the moon will block out the sun's light for a few minutes during the eclipse.

But the entire continental USA and other areas nearby will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the US, on August 21, 2017.

A total solar eclipse comes when the moon comes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking out the sun for a few minutes at most.

NASA has strongly cautioned against directly looking with the naked eye at the sun outside of the total eclipse window.

The Lowcountry should move completely out of the moon's shadow by 4:09 p.m. It's going to be a spectacular sight.

The origin of the word "eclipse" comes from the Greek term ekleipsis, meaning an abandonment, a feeling shared by the Inca of South America. Can you explain a little bit about why that is?

"The assertion is really hard to prove, because we don't have really hard numbers on any [previous eclipses]".

For the first time since 1970, the Lowcountry will witness a total solar eclipse, and NASA will share the experience with the world from Charleston's point of view. Again, it's rare. It's unusual. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to see it. I think it's definitely one of the top candidates, if not the most- watched eclipse.

Lauren: Absolutely. And so what are some tips you have for those of us, especially in the Casper area, to maximize the experience of seeing the eclipse? That means it could take Pasachoff and Peñaloza-Murillo many years to gather data on "eclipse weather" from a significant number of total eclipses. You will want to get some solar viewing glasses. These are very, very important, special glasses that prevent the harmful rays of the sun from damaging your eyes. No matter how dark they are or what their UV rating is, normal sunglasses will not be enough to protect your eyes as you look directly at the Sun.

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