From Time Science
The 2017 total solar eclipse is fast approaching, and hordes of sky gazers are scrambling to find a spot where they can see the shadow of the moon completely obscure the sun for a few moments on Aug. 21.
There’s technically plenty of room for every American to pack into the narrow zone from Oregon to South Carolina where the total blackout will occur, shown on this eclipse map. But most of the country will be moored in a place where they will see only a partial eclipse, which occurs when the moon will block anywhere from nearly the entire sun to just a slice of it.
So we decided to create a simulation of the eclipse (above) that shows a view of the sky from any location in the U.S., allowing you to see what the eclipse will look like from anywhere. Here’s what it will look like from Goreville, Illinois, a town of 1,067 lucky people where the eclipse will last for the longest period, over two-and-a-half minutes:
What’s the safest way to view the solar eclipse?
It’s safe to look at the sun with the naked eye and without any protection only during the totality phase of a total solar eclipse, but it’s dangerous to stare directly at the sun at any other time, including during a partial solar eclipse. Looking at the sun while wearing regular sunglasses during a partial solar eclipse is unsafe, and using binoculars or telescopes without the proper equipment, including solar filters, can severely damage your eyes.
NASA says on its website that eclipse gazers should use special solar filters or “eclipse glasses,” making sure that the glasses are not scratched or damaged. Espenak said the filtered glasses are inexpensive, usually made out of cardboard material, and cost about $2 in most places. He said astronomy magazines may even include free pairs in upcoming issues to honor the major scientific event.