Ithaca, NY (WENY)-- In just three short weeks, the United States will be able to throw their eyes to the sky to see a solar eclipse.
On August 21st, the Sun, moon, and earth will be perfectly aligned, creating a solar eclipse.
Named "The Great American Eclipse" it will start in Lincoln City, Oregon and end in Charleston, South Carolina.
The event, in total, will take about an hour-and-a-half, moving at supersonic speed, faster than a jet!
Cornell Astronomer Phil Nicholson says "this one is unusual, this one goes coast to coast from Oregon to South Carolina so a swath right from the northwest to the southeast across the country, so a lot of Americans across the country, in particular, get a chance to observe a total solar eclipse."
Those lucky enough to sit directly along its path will get a remarkable view, but it won't last long.
The total eclipse happens fast, in the wake of 2 to 4 minutes. If you're standing directly in its path so nobody has any doubt that it's happening as the sky suddenly turns so dark that you can see the stars in the middle of the day. Once the eclipse ends, the moon will stop blocking the sun bringing back "day time light" in just minutes.
Viewers in the upstate New York region, which is outside of its path, will experience a different view, but experts say still equally breathtaking.
Areas outside of its path will be able to see a partial eclipse. This means that only about two-thirds of the sun would be blocked by the moon and the
remaining lit crescent would visible by the viewer. Nicholson says this is referred to as a "70% eclipse, in other words, 70% of the area of the sun is
blocked for somebody standing in Upstate New York."
This type is gradual, less dramatic and can last for a longer amount of time.
For those planning to view the event, it's advised to be careful while observing, as the duration of a solar eclipse is expected to be short.
Even though technically during the eclipse it gets quite dark and is safe to look, once it is over the sun will return and could damage your eyes. When viewing a solar eclipse it is recommended that you wear protective eye gear that is professional grade, or when partial not to look at it at all!
You can filter the access light using cardboard or your hands to create an image on a wall behind you to see how the moon over takes the sun without putting your eyes at risk!