The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun which casts a shadow on the Earth.
In addition to being the first total solar eclipse visible from any part of the contiguous United States since 1979, this year's eclipse will be the first with the totality of its passing spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic since 1918.
"Totality" is a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, especially total solar eclipses.
"It's going to traverse the entire pass of the United States", Kopernik Observatory Executive Director Drew Deskur said.
An eclipse website, called Mr Eclipse, says that the most specular moment of the eclipse is the totality when the moon obscures the sun.
The total eclipse will last just 1 1/2 hours as the lunar shadow sweeps coast to coast at more than 1,500 mph (2,400 kph) beginning about 1:15 p.m. EDT and ending at 2:49 p.m. EDT.
Dean Koenig, owner of Starizona said they've sold more than 2,000 pairs of glasses just since the beginning of August. If you normally wear eyeglasses, put the eclipse glasses over them or your hand-held viewer in front of them.
If you're planning to watch the solar eclipse this month, make sure you have the proper safety equipment.
Brits may also witness the partial eclipse - but only 4 per cent of the sun will be covered by the moon.
If you want to snap a picture of the solar eclipse or look at it through binoculars or a telescope, you must use a specialized solar filter for your lens.
"It's an opportunity for people to experience a celestial event like this". The path of totality begins in Lincoln Beach, Oregon. Everyone outside the path of totality will see a partial eclipse.
If you can't get a live view of the August 21 total solar eclipse that will sweep across the USA, there's another option for seeing this celestial event - watching it in virtual reality. The AAS site also offers a list of companies that make glasses that have been lab-tested to protect wearers from sun damage. There will be a noticed darkening of the sky similar to a cloud blocking the sun.
Experts warn that looking at the sun without protection - or inadequate protection, such as using regular sunglasses - can cause lasting vision problems. Buying inadequate glasses, the group says, could lead to serious eye damage.
If, somehow, you miss the big eclipse, you've got seven years to prepare for the next one. The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association will also be offering a number of programs and workshops to celebrate the occasion with a week of fun leading to the eclipse.
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