Total solar eclipse coming in August will be seen by 13 US states

South and Central coast will see partial

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The sun will disappear behind the moon on August 21, 2017 creating the first total solar eclipse in the U.S. since 1979.

"The sky will go somewhat dark, you will see stars even though it's 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning and a sunrise or sunset in all directions," said Ken Kihlstrom, head of the physics department at Westmont College.

Kilhstrom said the spectacular event is worth seeing in person.

The total solar eclipse is being called, the "Great American Eclipse" and will move through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina.

Viewers can look directly at the sun, but only during the two minute "total" phase of the eclipse.

Unfortunately, people on the Central and South coast will only be able to see a partial one.

Kilhstrom said, "Things will dim a little bit, but not real dramatically."

Eye protection is critical. Even, a few seconds of staring at a partial eclipse without it can damage your retina.

"Lots of places sell solar filters which cut out 99% of the light and then it's safe," he said.  "Usually what people do is put a pinhole in a little piece of paper and it will project the eclipse on the ground."

Kihlstrom said the next time a total solar eclipse will be viewable in California is 2045.

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