What you need to know about this month's total solar eclipse

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But the eclipse will begin well before it's visible here. In May 2012, an annular solar eclipse occurred, meaning that the moon passes in front of the sun, but doesn't cover all of it.

The email sent by Amazon doesn't specify the exact nature of the defect, but does warn against using the glasses to view the eclipse directly. Everyone on the continent will be able to view at least a partial eclipse. The eclipse will be visible here from about noon to 3 p.m.

How can I look at it safely?

By looking directly at the solar eclipse - even briefly - without proper protection, you risk a form of blindness called solar retinopathy, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

So, on August 21, make sure you have your eclipse viewer handy (which you can buy or make - sunglasses won't be enough to protect your eyes!) And, keep an eye on the weather.

Remember official glasses are approved by the American Astronomical Society.

Science Central's gift shop is selling solar eclipse viewing cards for $1.99 each to the public and for $1 each for Science Central members. A solar eclipse is a unique experience for our eyes - we aren't used to seeing bright beams of sunlight contrasted with a night sky. The enterprising Yankee's knowledge of history, in particular the date and timing of the solar eclipse of June 21, 528, saves him from execution and elevates him to one of Arthur's most honored advisors. That eclipse took a somewhat similar path as this month's will, from OR to Florida.

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This will be the first total solar eclipse to sashay clear across the continental United States in 99 years and excitement has been building among astronomers, scientist, citizen scientists, budding scientists and anyone who wants to witness a truly stellar event.

Unlike places like Hopkinsville, which will experience a total eclipse, areas like Evansville will only see a partial eclipse. The 2045 eclipse will track from northern California to Florida.

Even if it is smoky or cloudy the eclipse will happen and safety is the number one goal.

The Bookmark Café will have "eclipse cookies" along with a combo of Moon Pies and Sun Chips, for sale as well as other regular café items. However, the sun happens to be 400 times farther away from Earth than the moon, making the sun and moon appear to be almost the same size from our perspective. Two to five eclipses occur each year, and only occur when the moon's orbit crosses the Earth's ecliptic plane.

Eclipses in the United States were also rare throughout the 20th Century.

Books-A-Million and Toys R Us in Knoxville, along with Lowe's in Harriman say they may get more in next week.

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