10 things to know about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse

GateHouse News Service
The “path of totality” of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. [NASA]

Something rare and awesome is about to happen in the US. On Aug. 21 there will be a total solar eclipse, and if you live in the path of totality, you will have the opportunity to have your day turned to night as the moon will totally block out the sun.

Here are 10 things you should know about the eclipse:

• The total solar eclipse will take place at around 1 p.m. EDT in South Carolina, 11:46 a.m. CDT in Missouri, and 10:15 a.m. PDT in Idaho.

• Along the “path of totality” – where the eclipse will be seen the best – the total solar eclipse will last for about 2 1/2 minutes.

• The path of totality will darken the skies from South Carolina to Oregon.

• The total solar eclipse will cast a 70-mile wide shadow.

• Those outside the path of totality will witness a partial solar eclipse – rest assured, it will still be cool.

• The last total solar eclipse viewed from the contiguous US was Feb. 26, 1979.

• The total solar eclipse of June 8, 1918, crossed a similar path, traveling from Florida to Washington.

• Total solar eclipses occur approximately once every 18 months, but it depends where on earth you are if you have a chance to see them.

• The next annular solar eclipse that can be seen in the US will be Oct. 14, 2023, and will be visible from Florida to northern California.

• The next total solar eclipse will be visible from Maine to Texas on April 8, 2024.