What This Year’s Eclipse and the American Revolution Have in Common

The first total solar eclipse (when the moon moves directly between Earth and the sun) visible in the United States in nearly four decades is expected to dazzle on Aug. 21, 2017. During the so-called Great American Total Solar Eclipse, the 70-mile-wide (110 kilometers) shadow cast by the moon will darken skies from Oregon to South Carolina, according to Space.com, Live Science’s sister site. During most solar eclipses, the moon takes just a “bite” out of the sun — these are called partial solar eclipses.

This eclipse is particularly rare for its accessibility. The path of most total eclipses falls over water or unpopulated regions of the planet. The August event will go down as the first total solar eclipse whose path of totality stays completely in the United States since 1776, experts say, according the Space.com Total Solar Eclipse 2017 guide.

For anyone who plans to check out the summer eclipse, remember to NEVER look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, except during the brief period of totality when the moon has moved completely between the sun and Earth. [Here’s how to make a solar eclipse viewer.]

Read more at CBS News.