Solar eclipse glasses, viewing tips and more: Key facts about historic celestial event

NEW YORK — To say people are excited about this month’s total solar eclipse would be an understatement.

Hotels along the 70-mile wide and 3,000-mile-long swath where the solar eclipse will pass through are completely booked and have been for months.

Starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina, cities across this cross-country belt expect a surge of historic traffic and, in some cases, a port-a-potty shortage.

"People who live in that shadow path, they will see day turn into night, they will see it get cooler, stars will come out, planets will come out, the birds will go silent," Tariq Malik, managing editor at space.com said. "Cows on some farms will maybe think its time to go back into the barn – you know a lot of things happen both up in space and on the ground."

A coast-to-coast solar eclipse hasn’t happened since 1918 which, according to Malik, makes it all the more historic.

"This is going to be one of the most-watched solar eclipses of all time," he explained. "There are 12 million people who live in the shadow of the path itself, there are tens of millions more that may be driving in and then the entire country, coast to coast, north to south will see a partial solar eclipse."

Even though the tri-state area isn’t in the complete-eclipse path, our area will be treated to a 75 percent partial eclipse, which will make proper eye protection a must.

"It starts in the early afternoon, like 1:18 p.m. is when the partial phase starts, it will peak around 2:44 p.m. and then it ends in the 4 o’clock time frame."

The weather will ultimately determine who gets to see what come Aug. 21.

Even a few clouds could put a damper on the event that lasts just a mere 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

If you miss out this upcoming solar eclipse, don’t worry –the next one that will fly over the United States happens in 2024.