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Science Happy Hour at Prairiefire sheds light on everything expected for Total Solar Eclipse

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- With just over a month to go until the total solar eclipse, many are trying to finalize plans and make sure they get a good view. On Wednesday the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park held a Science Happy Hour to help educate the public on all things solar eclipse.

Dan Johnson with the Astronomical Society of Kansas City spoke about what makes this eclipse so unique, the best local viewing spots and how to protect your eyes from the sun during the event.

"This is the biggest astronomical event ever in the history of Kansas City, and a major reason why is because a solar eclipse is so rare and unusual," said Johnson.

Johnson says the last solar eclipse in the U.S. happened in 1979. The last eclipse of this magnitude, he says, occurred in 1806.

"What's fortunate about this eclipse is at it goes across the entire United States and Kansas City is one of the best places in the nation to see it, that's why there's so much excitement," Johnson explained.

Some of the best places to view the eclipse are in Saint Joseph, Columbia, Boonville and Marshall. Those areas are in the path of totality, meaning you'll get to see the longest and darkest views from there.

Johnson also stressed the need for protective glasses. He says those in the path of totality don't necessarily need to have protective glasses. Anyone outside of totality does need a pair to safely view the sun safely during the partial phases before and after totality. He says sunglasses will not adequately protect your eyes.

To check eclipse viewing times for any location click this link.

Click the websites below for additional information on the total solar eclipse:

Eclipse2017.askc.org

Stjosepheclipse.com

Eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov

Exploratorium.edu/eclipse

Greatamericaneclipse.com

Eclipse2017.org