The United States will experience a rare astronomical event on Monday, August 21 when a total eclipse will occur as the moon moves directly between the sun and the earth.
Austin residents may be a little bummed to learn we are not in the path of totality, which will be visible in a 70-mile-wide swath of the country that includes cities like Salem, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; and Columbia, South Carolina.
In fact, we’re kind of especially out of the way. Nevertheless, barring cloud cover, we should be able to see a partial eclipse, which is still pretty special. Austin residents wishing to stay put and observe the event from home should check out our sister site Vox’s handy interactive tool (and entertainingly exhaustive explainer about all things solar eclipse 2017), which uses United States Naval Observatory and NASA data to plug in plug in different ZIP codes.
Entering downtown’s Austin’s ZIP code (78701), we find that eclipse seen from that location will peak at 1:10:17 p.m. CDT and that the moon will obscure the sun by 65.2% at its peak.
The rare occurrence will be visible throughout the entire United States, but cities located across the center country will be able to witness a full eclipse. The chart also tells you how far you’d have to travel to see a total eclipse. For Austin, that looks like St. Louis, Mo., 631 miles northeast of here (though some might want to make the extra hike to Nashville, which sounds pretty fun, too).
Whatever you do, do not look directly at the sun (even if that’s where the fun is). Here are viewing and safety tips from NASA.