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Georgia will open Sanford Stadium for August 21 total solar eclipse viewing

Sanford Stadium
Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Georgia’s Sanford Stadium will be open to the public for the viewing of the total solar eclipse on August 21, it was announced Wednesday.

The school’s atmospheric sciences program and geography department Twitter accounts shared on Twitter that the stadium will be open from 1-4 p.m. ET for the viewing. Peak darkness will occur at 2:38 p.m.

The first 5,000 in attendance at Sanford Stadium will receive free custom Georgia viewing glasses to watch the eclipse. Views from around the world of the solar eclipse will be featured on the stadium’s video board.

The University of Georgia’s geography, atmospheric sciences, physics and astronomy, and education faculty also have planned “learning activities” and “special guests” for the event.

The August 21 solar eclipse will begin its path of totality – a 70-mile wide area in which the sun will be completely blocked from viewing by the moon – on United States soil in Salem, Oregon before heading diagonally across the country where it will end its viewing from land in Charleston, South Carolina. From start to finish, the eclipse will begin in the Pacific Ocean and end in the Atlantic Ocean.

Kansas City, St. Louis and Nashville are the three largest cities in the eclipse’s direct path.

The University of Georgia, located in Athens, Georgia, is not in the path of totality of the solar eclipse, though viewers in the area will be subjected to a 99.1 percent blackout. Other parts of the U.S. and elsewhere further away from the path of totality also will be able to view the eclipse, though the sun will not be as obscured.

The total solar eclipse – which has been described as the “Great American Eclipse” as it will be visible in totality only from the United States – will last around two minutes. The last total solar eclipse to occur in the continental United States took place on Feb. 26, 1979, though it passed through only Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota before moving into Canada and Greenland.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the sun from viewing on Earth, when it passes between the two.

For the approximate path of totality and obscuration percentages for any location on the day of the eclipse, click here.

(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)

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