On August 21 a total eclipse will travel coast to coast across the U.S. — the first to do so in 99 years. It’s an event you won’t want to miss, but you can’t see it just anywhere.
“The trick is you have to be along the path, which is about 68 miles wide,” says Mark Littmann, co-author of the Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024. “If you’re outside that region along the 2,500 mile strip, then you only see a partial eclipse.” Seeing a partial eclipse instead of the full one, he says, is like being at a music hall for your favorite concert and listening from the lobby.
The longest amount of total darkness any area of the country will get during this eclipse is two minutes and 40 seconds, says Littman, but the light show will last for hours. And while he plans to be in Douglas, Wyoming, to watch, there are countless other locales for taking in totality.