Map Reveals How to See 2017's Incredible Total Solar Eclipse

Wherever you are in the U.S., here’s your best shot at viewing the solar eclipse on August 21.

On August 21, 2017, the moon will cast a shadow that will take a little over an hour and a half to traverse North America, plunging some areas into darkness for as much as two minutes, 41 seconds.

Total solar eclipses occur only when the moon is directly between the Earth and the sun—a rare occasion given the moon’s slightly tilted orbit. This summer’s eclipse—stretching from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina—will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in 38 years.

But be advised: Never look directly at the sun except during totality, in the umbra, without proper eye protection.

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