By now, you’ve probably heard that on Monday, August 21 the U.S. will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse. Skies will darken all the way from Oregon to South Carolina – along a path of about 70 miles of land – which is being called “the path of totality.” This simply means if you are outside of this area you will be seeing a partial eclipse and not a total solar eclipse. Regardless, it’s going to be an unforgettable event, and not something you want to miss. The last time a total eclipse was viewed from the contiguous US was in 1979 and it won’t happen again until 2024. So, here’s what you need to know.

 

Where You Are Matters

If you do not live within the “path of totality” you will not witness the total blackout. Instead, you will see a partial eclipse. What does this look like? Lucky for you, there’s a pretty awesome simulation tool that allows you to preview what you’ll see in your zip code.

You Need Eye Protection

If you are within the path of totality there will be a point when the moon completely covers the sun, and only then is it safe to watch without eye protection. However, for the majority of us living in the U.S. the entire event will need to be viewed through proper eye protection. Staring directly at the sun – even if it is partially covered – can cause serious eye damage. Get your glasses online (and beware of fakers), check in with your local library or eye doctor for a free pair, or DIY it.

 

The Major Event is Pretty Quick

The absolute longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any location along the “path of totality” will only be about two minutes and 40 seconds. When will you be able to view it? Check out this interactive map created by NASA to find out.

 

Natural Beauty Will Be All Around

A ghostly glowing orb won’t be the only show in town. During the eclipse, spectators within the path of totality will also see a 360-degree sunset caused by the light from areas outside the path. The eclipse will also make it easier to see some planets, including Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus.

Worried About Your Pets? Don’t Be

Most cats and dogs will “mirror” their human’s emotions, so as long as you don’t have a monkey for a pet, keep calm and carry on.

Where will you be watching? What are you doing to prepare? Keep the conversation going on Twitter and Instagram with #VerdantDreams or by tagging us @AvocadoMattress