It’s been 99 years since the last solar eclipse covered the entirety of the United States, but on Aug. 21, the moon will once more pass in front of the sun and give U.S. residents a view of a partial or total solar eclipse.

The total solar eclipse begins in Salem, Oregon, and winds its way across the U.S. to Charleston, South Carolina. While West Alabama is not in the path of a total solar eclipse, nearly all of the sun will fall behind the moon within our view.

The event begins around noon and lasts until about 3 p.m., with the most obstruction happening around 1:30 p.m.

Even though the sun will be obstructed, you can still damage your vision if you look directly into the sun during the eclipse. Instead, NASA advises anyone wanting a better view to obtain a pair of eclipse-viewing glasses. The glasses, which look a little like old-style 3-D glasses, are available for purchase online or locally. NASA has a list of certified retailers right here. Do not look at the sun with a regular pair of sunglasses.

Pinhole glasses are also an option, and NASA has several styles available for printing out and using, along with instructions right here.

For more information, visit NASA also has an interactive app available right here.

If you miss this eclipse, West Alabama will be under a partial solar eclipse April 8, 2024, and under a total solar eclipse Aug. 12, 2045.

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