Viewing past solar eclipses

Monday, Aug. 21, a solar eclipse is set to dazzle viewers across the United States. The moon’s path will cross with the sun’s, casting a shadow on Earth.

All of the U.S. will be treated to at least a partial eclipse, but viewers in the aptly named “path of totality,” a 60- to 70-mile-wide strip of land cutting across the country, will experience a total eclipse, resulting in two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day. The eclipse will enter Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PT and exit South Carolina at 2:50 p.m. ET, touching on 14 states along the way.

This year’s eclipse will be the first one to cross the entire continental U.S. since 1918, and more than just astronomers and scientists have taken notice. Eclipse mania has ensued, spawning its own mini-industry of sorts. Hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and bars within the path of totality are set to cash in on eclipse tourism: The diagonal route puts prime viewing spots within driving distance for much of the country. Watch parties, akin to Super Bowl or election night events, are scheduled throughout the U.S.

Of course, eclipse glasses have become the must-have accessory for amateur astronomers, selling out in stores across the nation. and online. Looking directly at the sun is ill advised, even during the eclipse. It’s safe only for those within the path of totality, and even then only for the few brief minutes when the sun is completely covered by the moon. For everyone else, viewing the partial solar eclipse will require glasses equipped with special-purpose solar filters.

Here’s a look at viewership of past solar eclipses around the world.

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Kansas City, Mo.

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, fourth graders at Clardy Elementary School in Kansas City, Mo., practice the proper use of their eclipse glasses in anticipation of Monday’s solar eclipse. (Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP)

Salt Lake City, Utah

In this Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 photo, Colton Hammer tries out his new eclipse glasses he just bought from the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah, in preparation for the eclipse. (Photo: Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News via AP)

Ternate Island, Indonesia

A total solar eclipse is seen from the beach on Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. (Photo: Beawiharta/Reuters)

Saint-Louis, La Reunion

A woman looks through eclipse viewing glasses at an annular solar eclipse, on Sept. 1, 2016, in Saint-Louis, on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. (Photo: Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images)

London, England

School children wearing protective glasses pose for photographers outside The Royal Observatory during a partial solar eclipse in Greenwich, south east London, March 20, 2015. (Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia

People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. (Photo: Darren Whiteside/Reuters)

Ternate Island, Indonesia

People watch and take pictures of the solar eclipse at the beach on Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. (Photo: Beawiharta/Reuters)

Singapore

An aeroplane flies past the sun as it goes into a partial solar eclipse in Singapore, March 9, 2016. (Photo: Edgar Su/Reuters)

Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia

A child wears goggles with a special filter over it during a solar eclipse in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. (Photo: Darren Whiteside/Reuters)

Jakarta, Indonesia

People watch a solar eclipse outside the planetarium in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. (Photo: Garry Lotulung/Reuters)

Longyearbyen,Svalbard, Norway

A total solar eclipse is seen in Longyearbyen on Svalbard, Norway, March 20, 2015. (Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB scanpix/Reuters)

Toulouse, France

A man uses protective glasses to watch a solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 in Toulouse, France. (Photo: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images)

Giza, Egypt

People use protective glasses to catch a glimpse of a solar eclipse in front of Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx on March 20, 2015 in Giza, Egypt. (Photo: Mohamed Hossam/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Liverpool, England

People use protective glasses on their dog during a partial solar eclipse at the Pier Head in Liverpool, north-west England, on March 20, 2015. (Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

Toulouse, France

People use giant protective glasses to watch a solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 at the City de l’Espace (Space City) in Toulouse, France. (Photo: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

Berlin, Germany

A man uses protective glasses to watch a partial solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images)

Kiel, Germany

Girsl use protective glasses to catch a glimpse of a solar eclipse as they stand in front of the observatory’s cupola on the roof of the university of applied sciences in Kiel, northern Germany, on March 20, 2015. (Photo: Carsten Rehder/AFP/Getty Images)

Khartoum, Sudan

A veiled woman observes a solar eclipse during an event organized by the Sudanese Society for Astronomy and Space Science on the banks of the Nile river in Khartoum, Sudan, Nov. 3, 2013. (Photo: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

Lake Turkana, Kenya

Turkana men dance and sing during the hybrid solar eclipse at the remote Sibiloi National Park on the shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya, Nov. 3, 2013. (Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters)

Tokyo, Japan

School children using solar viewers lie down on a lawn as they observe an annular eclipse at Hirai Daini Elementary School in Tokyo, Japan, May 21, 2012. (Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters)

Amman, Jordan

The moon passes between the sun and the earth during a solar eclipse in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 15, 2010. (Photo: Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

Hyderabad, Pakistan

School children use solar viewers to view an annular solar eclipse in southern Indian city of Hyderabad, Pakistan, Jan. 15, 2010. (Photo: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters)

Chongqing, China

Residents use welding masks to watch the solar eclipse in Chongqing municipality, China, July 22, 2009. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Longyearbyen,Svalbard, Norway

This combo of different phases of the solar eclipse seen from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, an archipeligo administered by Norway, on March 20, 2015. (Photo: Nesvold/AFP/Getty Images)

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