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Are you looking forward to the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21? Here is another reason why you should look forward to it: You can see other planets in the middle of the day.
Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter will all be visible during the eclipse in areas that will see a total eclipse. A 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse.
When the moon completely eclipses the Sun, the sky will quickly become twilight, resembling the amount of light visible shortly after sunset.
Areas such as Boise, Idaho, Kansas City and Nashville will be among the areas that will get to see the planets.
During the eclipse, Jupiter will be visible in the eastern sky. Meanwhile, Mercury and Mars will be very close to the sun and moon in the sky. Venus will be just to the west of the eclipsed sun.
For areas experiencing a total solar eclipse, the sky will only darken for no more than 3 minutes. For those experiencing a partial solar eclipse, you’ll have to wait until after the sun sets to see Jupiter in the night sky.
About The Great American Eclipse
The last time people in the U.S. saw an eclipse like the Great American Eclipse was Feb. 26, 1979. Full totality means the sun is completely blocked by the moon.
For those lucky enough to live near towns like Portland, Oregon, Kansas City, Omaha, Nebraska, Boise, Idaho and Nashville, they will see the sun completely obscured by the moon, marking the first total solar eclipse in the United States in nearly four decades.
In major cities such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles, roughly 70 percent of the sun will be blocked during the peak of the eclipse. Major Midwest cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis and St. Louis will see at least 80 percent of the sun obscured by the moon.
How To View The Solar Eclipse Safely
Staring directly at the sun, even when the sun is 99 percent blocked, could cause damage to the retina.
In order to safely view a solar eclipse, Amazon offers special eclipse glasses which block out the harmful rays of the sun. For $15.99, you can buy a pack of 10 solar eclipse glasses.
If you want an up-close look at the eclipse, Amazon offers solar binoculars for $69.
Another safe option to view a solar eclipse is No. 14 welder’s glass.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way of viewing the eclipse, you can use the pinhole method.
Regardless of what method you decide, you will want to make sure you have some type of eye protection ready to go come Aug. 21.
Written by Justin Boggs for Scripps National Desk.