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"In a narrow strip of land that stretches from OR to SC, known as the path of totality, people will be witness to a total eclipse of the sun - one of the most awesome displays in nature", says Gutsch.

As Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, Franklin and other Kentucky cities in prime viewing area prepare for the solar eclipse on August 21, NASA is issuing a warning.

There have only been 10 total solar eclipses viewable in the US during the last 100 years and only eight will happen in the next 100 years. Officials are calling it "the sight of a lifetime" as it is the first total solar eclipse to cross the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 99 years. Study maps in the area where you plan to see the eclipse in case you need to drive quickly to a new location.

Littmann said one in 100,000 people around the world has seen a total solar eclipse.

The Total Eclipse will pass through SC at approximately 2:30pm to 2:50pm, closely following the route of Interstate 26, before exiting the nation at the SC coast.

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe to look at the sun with. How long will you be in the moon's shadow?

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The total eclipse begins in OR at 10:16 a.m. PDT.

"It really is an experience, so especially if it's your first time, just let yourself enjoy it", says Amanda Bauer, who already has two totality viewings under her belt.

Recommended for photographing a solar eclipse: a telephoto lens, sturdy tripod, solar eclipse glasses, solar filter for camera, and extra batteries. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole - it is not safe.

"This is the biggest astronomical event ever in the history of Kansas City, and a major reason why is because a solar eclipse is so rare and unusual", said Johnson. The guide says that only five companies are certified for the ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard for eclipse glasses. This is what most people will experience - the partial eclipse. It will start in the northwest United States, and end in the southeast United States. A little further east, Orient will see a maximum eclipse of about 85.9 percent at 10:26 a.m.

On Monday August 21, the eclipse will occur in the afternoon, reaching its maximum 82% eclipse over South Mississippi around 2:30 pm.

An NCAR research team, for example, will use the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream-V research aircraft to take infrared measurements for about four minutes, helping scientists better understand the solar corona's magnetism and thermal structure.

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