There goes the sun: America is getting ready to witness the first total solar eclipse visible from the lower 48 states since 1979—and the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918. Over 90 minutes, the eclipse will travel across the US as the moon blocks out the sun in a narrow band stretching from Oregon to the South Carolina coast. With mostly clear skies forecast along the eclipse's route—and around 200 million people within a day's drive of a path of totality between 60 and 70 miles wide—massive crowds are expected, along with some serious traffic congestion. What you need to know:
- Accuweather tracks peak eclipse times across the US, starting at 10:17am PDT on the Oregon coast and finishing at 2:47pm EDT in South Carolina. Carbondale, Ill. will experience totality for the longest of any city, at 2 minutes 40 seconds.
- The Verge has a handy guide based on zip codes to when the eclipse is happening in your area and how much you will be able to see.
- NASA has an extensive guide to safe eclipse viewing, stressing that outside the path of totality, viewers must use eclipse glasses or other solar filters to safely view the sun. NASA has also shared a guide to making your own pinhole projector. The agency's live streams of the eclipse can be seen here.
- Procrastinators, USA Today has you covered with a guide to making last-minute eclipse viewing plans, including a list of outlets that might still have safe eclipse viewers for sale.
- The Boulder Daily Camera has some tips for pet owners. Animal behavior expert Jennie K. Willis says pets are no more likely to look at the sun than on a normal day so their eyes are unlikely to be in danger, though dogs might follow pointing and gazing by humans.
- Slate has an intriguing history of eclipse glasses—and of the people who didn't wear them.
- The Seattle Times reports on some of the problems Oregon is experiencing in and around the zone of totality, including people trying to sneak into areas closed because of wildfires, gas shortages, and portable toilet shortages after vendors quadrupled prices.
- Forbes looks at four scientists so excited about the eclipse they probably won't see it: A team from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will be in a Gulfstream jet, so focused on aligning a telescope for images to tell us more about the sun's magnetic field that they will have no chance to observe the eclipse themselves.
- The Washington Post spoke to some veteran eclipse-chasers about their experiences, their advice, and one of their biggest fears: clouds.
- It's only going to be another seven years until the next total solar eclipse in the US, but the next coast-to-coast one won't be until 2045, the AP reports.
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