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For months, news streams across the country have been filled with commentary about The Great American Solar Eclipse that will cross over 14 states on Monday - and for good reason. The natural phenomenon is rare in and of itself, requiring perfect alignment of the Earth, moon and sun, and, according to scientists, often occurs over water sources or other locations uninhabited by humans.
This occurrence is particularly rare since it is the first to cover the continental U.S. in 99 years and the first to stay completely in the U.S. since 1776. Its path of totality will stretch 70 miles wide and ripple through the skies from, you guessed it, Oregon to South Carolina.
For us in Wilson, even though we aren't in the "path of totality," we can expect to see a partial solar eclipse - 91 percent coverage of the sun. On Monday, from 1:18 to 4:06 p.m., we will witness a partial solar eclipse, with the maximum coverage occurring at 2:46 p.m. and only lasting a couple of minutes.
Before The Great American Solar Eclipse leaves its mark on history, there are several things we all need to know.
For more information about The Great American Solar Eclipse, visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html.
Ronald Stahl, MD, is the chief medical officer at Wilson Medical Center.