'Eclipsemania' building for rare event

An illustration of the sun's corona during an eclipse in 1871

In areas where it'll be a total solar eclipse, from the Pacific Northwest through Missouri and down to SC, it'll still get really dark - pitch black like night - even if overcast. The moon's travel across the face of the sun will begin at 11:30 a.m., and end at 2:26 p.m., with the peak eclipse coverage being at 12:57 p.m. The landscape around you will be changing as the sun passes behind the moon, which will create cool shadows and a great opportunity for awesome pictures or a time-lapse video.

NASA says that the only safe way to look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.

However, a majority of the sun will be covered no matter where you live across the state on Monday, Aug. 21.

What time is the solar eclipse? Users can explore different locations along the path of totality where the moon will completely obscure the sun in a total solar eclipse, as well as areas that will experience a partial solar eclipse or no eclipse. A live web stream of the solar eclipse, as seen from other locations in the USA, will also be shown during eclipse time. The last total eclipse that crossed the entire continent occurred on June 8, 1918 and the last time a total solar eclipse occurred exclusively in the USA was in 1778.

Science Central's event Sunday will show people how to experience the solar eclipse safely during hands-on activities and demonstrations, the science center said on its website, www.sciencecentral.org.

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A solar eclipse party being held by the City of Lubbock at the Patterson Branch Library, located at 1836 Parkway Drive in Lubbock.

And there's another warning: Counterfeit eclipse glasses that look like the real thing, but may not protect your eyes properly.

And in the, please don't even consider an app like for a moment - Solar Eclipse glasses (99 cents) says it is handy when stores have run out of solar glasses. "It's not like going to a Canucks game or a Whitecaps match where you know just about how many people are going to be there because of the number of tickets sold and what time the event starts".

If you wear prescription glasses, keep them on under your solar eclipse glasses. They are darker than normal sunglasses and filter out more sun. The last total eclipse in the continental United States was in 1979 in the Pacific Northwest.

As students return to school, a rare and lovely natural phenomenon will help kick off the school year. Looking at the sun for even short periods can literally sunburn your cornea and blister the cells, causing painful irritation that if you're lucky goes away.