Last-minute guide to the total solar eclipse

Traffic in Oregon
Cars are lined up on Highway 26 heading east from Prineville, Ore., several days before the total solar eclipse. (Ochoco National Forest Photo)

It’s prime time at last for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, America’s first coast-to-coast dose of totality in 99 years.

Maybe you’re a veteran eclipse-chaser who’s been preparing for this since 1979, the last time a total eclipse was visible from the mainland U.S. Or maybe you’re a newbie who just heard that the moon is going to cover the sun.

Either way, it’s not too late to enjoy the eclipse, whether you’re planning to get within the 70-mile-wide path of totality or stay at home. But you do have to be prepared, especially if you haven’t done any planning until now.

The bad news is that traffic and accommodations are already getting jammed up, and viewing equipment is in vanishingly short supply. The good news is that it takes as little as two pieces of paper and a pin to get a good look at the partial solar eclipse.

Get the full story (and podcast) from GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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