Why a total solar eclipse is such a big deal


As Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, Franklin and other Kentucky cities in prime viewing area prepare for the solar eclipse on August 21, NASA is issuing a warning.

Even though kids in Wilson County still have class on Monday, Aug. 21 for the historic total solar eclipse, the school district has big plans in place for students. Now anyone can glance up at the sun through such a filter starting more than an hour prior to totality and see an apparent bite being taken out of the solar disk. A Japanese weather satellite known as Himawari-8 captured it all. NASA created this interactive map to let people know how significant the eclipse will be in their town. In the video, the sun rises on the right and sets on the left, like a hand moving across a face.

While Wichita will see a partial solar eclipse, where the moon covers part of the sun's disk, only those individuals within the path of totality - a relatively thin ribbon about 70 miles wide that will cross the US from west to east - will see the total solar eclipse.

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A dark spot shown darting across the planet from left to right is the moon's shadow.

Watching from a computer screen is great, and NASA will stream live footage from a number of sites on its website.

Hopkinsville is on the center line for one of the longest times of total eclipse in the nation.