When Can I See The 2017 Solar Eclipse? You Have Only A Few Hours

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The current news cycle may be saturated with horrific tragedies and frankly terrifying hypotheticals, but there is one story that has continued to tread water: The Great American Solar Eclipse. So when can you see the total solar eclipse in 2017? This may be the first bit of good news you've heard today.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, completely obscuring the sun for a period that hovers around three minutes. Sure, it's a short amount of time, but rumors of the life-changing, mystical, euphoric sensation that accompanies witnessing an eclipse have thrown Americans into a frenzy. That, and the fact that the United States hasn't experienced a coast-to-coast eclipse since 1918. Folks have been waiting a long time for this moment. And they're willing to pay a bucket of money and travel hundreds of miles to snag a prime viewing spot.

On Aug. 21, the Oregon coast will be the first to catch a glimpse of the eclipse at 9:05 am PST, according to TimeAndDate.com. The moon's central shadow will then cut a 70-mile wide swath from Oregon to South Carolina, hitting prime spots in Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.

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The "maximum point," considered the best place to see the total eclipse, will be Hopkinsville, Kentucky at 1:25 pm EST. Predictably, interest and tourism to Hopkinsville has boomed. They've even set up a website, eclipseville.com, complete with a down-to-the-second countdown. For a full list of prime viewing spots across the U.S., check out this map.

For those of us not in the direct path of the eclipse, there's a good chance we'll still catch a glimpse of a partial sun obstruction. And while it may not be the transformative experience our brothers and sisters in Kentucky will have, we can still bask in the magic of a natural event that's terrified humans for millennia. Stay safe and stay spooky!