"A total eclipse is such a rare occurrence, for many in the US, this will be the first time in their life they can see one", said CNN Senior Meteorologist Brandon Miller.
That is largely because this year's spectacle will be the first in 99 years to span the entire continental United States - the world's third most populous nation - across a 70-mile-wide (113-km) path over 14 states, from the Pacific coast of OR to the Atlantic shore of SC.
The legitimate glasses, which offer no views outside the eclipse, carry their own hazards, however. The program examines what eclipses are, how and when they occur.
McGowan pointed out that the mere possibility of an eclipse is incredible in its own right. While the scientific aspects of an eclipse are fascinating, McGowan also says one is not required to be interested in any of that to appreciate the astrological anomaly.
Huston said the sun is different during a solar eclipse than it is normally.
The path of totality is the 70-mile-wide band running through the heart of the US, from OR to SC.
"There is an ISO standard that is regulated for viewing the sun".
Here in the Adirondacks, the eclipse will be around 62 percent, creating a crescent sun. A total solar eclipse happens when the entire disc of the sun is covered by the moon, revealing the sun's outer and inner atmosphere (corona) that normally can not be observed or studied without sophisticated instruments at a few solar research agencies. Solar glasses must be worn at all other times to prevent damage to the retina.
Staring at the sun without proper filtration, even when it is partially obscured by the moon during an eclipse, can damage or destroy photo-receptor cells of the eye's retina, leaving blind spots in a person's field of vision, experts said.
"I have seen instances where the patient has eventually shown up with crescents burned into the back of the eye, and you can nearly tell exactly when they looked", Ralph Chou, professor emeritus at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada, told space.com.
Amazon is sending emails to customers who bought certain solar eclipse glasses from a third-party seller, recommending to the buyers to not use them.
Solar glasses are safe, cheap and abundant.
The library in Harker Heights also is holding an eclipse party on the back patio and will provide free glasses for the first 200 people.
There are a few parties being held around Central Texas, but for much less money.
Though the North Country does not get the fun of seeing the solar corona, there are still fascinating observations to be made with a partial eclipse.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon's shadow is cast on earth, or, said another way, the moon blocks the sun's light.
Space India recently organised a series of online interactions with Padma Y. Fisher, Senior Research Scientist at the Space Science Institute, California, to take students, researchers, and astronomers through a detailed experience of the total solar eclipse.
Starting at 11:40 a.m. August 21, the moon will cross in front of the sun in a solar eclipse that will be visible from OR to SC in varying coverages.
"If you are religious, it's a religious experience".
The eclipse will start at around 1:25 p.m. and last until around 3:55. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.