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There's an Eclipse coming on August 21st, and Jessi and Squeaks are PUMPED! Today, they'll show you where in the world you'll be able to see the eclipse, what happens during an eclipse, and tell you how you can watch the eclipse safely!

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Squeaks and I are marking our calendar for an incredible event! [Squeaks squeaks] I’m excited, too, Squeaks!

On August 21st, there’s going to be a solar eclipse right near where we live in the United States! A solar eclipse is a special event where the sun looks like it’s going dark.

It’s like it’s nighttime right in the middle of the day! Normally, the light from the sun makes it bright out during the daytime. But every now and then, the moon gets in the way.

The moon is always moving around the Earth in a big oval, and once in a while, it goes right between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun! And that casts a shadow on the Earth. Since the moon’s blocking the sun, it can look very dark on Earth, even during the daytime.

But don’t worry — we get the sun’s light back again afterward! The moon slowly blocks more and more of the sun’s light, until the sun looks like a completely dark circle with a ring of light around it. Then the moon starts to move back out of the way again.

The whole thing can take up to three hours, but the sun is only completely dark for a minute or two. If you’re in the right spot, you can see where the sun is blocked out and get a little bit of nighttime during the day! Solar eclipses don’t happen a lot, because the sun and the moon have to line up perfectly.

Sometimes, the moon is only a little bit in the way, making the sun look like a crescent! That’s called a partial solar eclipse, since the moon is only blocking part of the sun. During a total solar eclipse, the moon is totally blocking the sun. [Squeaks squeaks] That’s right, Squeaks!

This eclipse is going to be a total solar eclipse. You can only see a total eclipse if you’re in certain parts of the world, though. In other places, you’ll only see part of the sun get blocked, and in some places you won’t be able to see the eclipse at all.

The last time there was a total solar eclipse was about two years ago, but there were only a couple of places on Earth where you could go to see it. So Squeaks and I didn’t get to see that one. This time, you’ll be able to see the total solar eclipse from a few different places all across the United States!

You won’t be able to see the total eclipse from everywhere in the country, but you will be able to see the partial solar eclipse. You’ll also be able to see the partial eclipse from the rest of North and Central America, plus some parts of western Europe. Watching an eclipse is a very special treat for anyone.

But for scientists, it’s also a great time to study the sun! Everyone who wants to see the eclipse has to be careful, though. It’s always dangerous to look at the sun, and it’s especially dangerous during a solar eclipse.

Because if there’s even a little bit of sunlight coming through, that can be really bad for your eyes, even if it doesn’t hurt. One way to watch an eclipse is to use special eclipse glasses. But not sunglasses!

Eclipse glasses like the ones Squeaks has on are made very carefully so they block enough sunlight to make it safe to look at the sun. If you want eclipse glasses, you’ll need a grownup to make sure you’re getting a pair that’s safe. But there’s another safe way to see the solar eclipse, without looking straight at the sun!

It’s called a pinhole viewer, where you can see a kind of picture of the sun on a card. Squeaks and I are going to make one in just a couple of days, and if you want to learn how to make a pinhole viewer yourself, you can join us! It’s always important to be safe while doing science.

This will be the first total solar eclipse happening over the United States in more than thirty years, so I’m very excited. The next total eclipse happening right over North America won’t be until 2024. That means I’ll be seven years older, and so will you!

A lot can change in between solar eclipses, but my love for a good eclipse will always be there! Do you think you’ll be able to see the solar eclipse? What do you think it will look like when the sun is blocked during the day?

Ask a grownup to help you leave a comment below, or send us an email at And don’t forget to check back if you want to make a pinhole viewer with us! Thanks, and we'll see you next time here at the Fort!