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Everything You Need to Know About the Solar Eclipse

Playing Everything You Need to Know About the Solar Eclipse

Do you have questions about the eclipse? InsideEdition.com has answers.

Dr. Jackie Faherty, an astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is sharing everything you need to know ahead of Monday's event.

Q: What is this solar eclipse that's happening on Aug. 21?

A: It's an alignment of the Earth, the moon and the sun. The moon covers the sun for those lucky enough to be in the path of totality and casts its shadow across the Earth.

Read: What Animal Owners Need to Know About their Pets Before the Eclipse

Q: What will the eclipse look like?

A: There are two kinds of witnesses for this eclipse.

There are those who are going to go out of their way to be in the path of totality. That's the spot that's about 70 miles wide — from Oregon to South Carolina — that is going to get to see the entire sun disappear behind the moon.

If you go outside that 70-mile or so radius, then you're going to see a partial solar eclipse. You're going to see some portion of the sun disappear.

Make sure you watch with safe protective gear because you'll see the motion of the moon moving across the sun.

Q: How long will it last?

For us here in New York City, it's going to begin around 1:22 p.m. and end around 4 p.m., with the best part happening around 2:44 p.m. or so.

If you're close to the center line of totality, there will be two minutes and 40 seconds or so of having the sun completely disappear from your sky under the face of the moon. As you get further away from the center line, it will be less time.

Read: Man, 71, Burned His Retina Looking at Eclipse as a Teen: 'Why Take a Chance With Your Eyes?'

Q: How rare are total solar eclipses?

Total solar eclipses are actually not rare, even though that word is being thrown around a lot. They happen roughly every 18 months.

Q: When is the next one?

The next really, really exciting one for the United States is going to be in 2045 when we'll get another one of these coast-to-coast eclipses, which is going to start in California and end in Florida, and it will have a larger radius of totality.

For a list of reputable vendors of eclipse glasses, NASA has safety information on its website here.

Watch: Man Who Lost Some of His Eyesight During Solar Eclipse Warns Others

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