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Great American Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When and Where to See It?

Aug 22, 2016 01:15 AM EDT

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is one day that's to be missed by eclipse enthusiasts. Scheduled on August 21, 2017, here's everything there is to know about the total solar eclipse.

For the United States, particularly all of North America and northern third of South America, the sun will be partially eclipsed. Around 80 percent of the sun will be eclipsed by the new moon. The total eclipse is said to run along a diagonal track from northwest to southeast.

This amazing event is surely one for the calendar, as the last total solar eclipse was dated February 1979. Also, this is the first total solar eclipse to go from coast to coast in the United States since 1918.

"It's a tremendous opportunity," stated Jay Pasachoff to "It's a chance to see the universe change around you."

For the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, around 12 million people will have a chance of viewing the natural phenomena. In the first 28 minutes of the eclipse, the shadow will make its first landfall at the coast of Oregon. The path of darkness will then stretch through from Oregon to Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

"Though the rest of the continental U.S. will have at least a 55 percent partial eclipse, it won't ever get dark there, and eye-protection filters would have to be used at all times even to know that the eclipse is happening. The dramatic effects occur only for those in the path of totality. If you are in that path of totality, you are seeing the main event, but if you are off to the side - even where the sun is 99 percent covered by the moon - it is like going up to the ticket booth of a baseball or football stadium but not going inside," explained Pasachoff.

Cities in the United States that will find themselves in total darkness during the eclipse include Casper, Wyoming, Idaho Falls, Columbia, Nebraska, Lincoln, Nashville, Tennessee, Charleston, Columbia, as well as South Carolina.

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