Total solar eclipse 2017

This photo provided by Bob Baer and Sarah Kovac, participants in the Citizen CATE Experiment, shows a "diamond ring" shape during the 2016 total solar eclipse in Indonesia. For the 2017 eclipse over the United States, the National Science Foundation-funded movie project nicknamed Citizen CATE will have more than 200 volunteers trained and given special small telescopes and tripods to observe the sun at 68 locations in the exact same way. The thousands of images from the citizen-scientists will be combined for a movie of the usually hard-to-see sun’s edge. (R. Baer, S. Kovac/Citizen CATE Experiment via AP)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) In less than a week parts of the United States will go dark for a few minutes during the middle of the day.  It’s all thanks to a total solar eclipse.

Solar eclipses happen on a regular basis. But what makes the one we’ll see on Monday so special is the path of totality will stretch from coast to coast.

First, let’s take a look at what causes a solar eclipse. As the Earth revolves around the sun the moon also orbits the Earth. On Monday the moon is going to line up directly with the sun and cast a shadow on the Earth.  The United States will be in the Umbra – or full shadow.

The moon will first cast its shadow on the west coast and continue to move eastward across the United States.  The path of totality – that’s when the moon completely covers the sun will stretch across about 9 states.

Dayton will see 90 percent totality.  The eclipse will begin here at 1:02 pm.  At 2:28 pm is when we’ll see the max eclipse – 90% of the sun will be covered. The event will end shortly before 4 pm

It’s important to remember to never look directly at the sun. Everyday sunglasses are not safe to look directly at the sun.

READ MORE: Viewing the solar eclipse safely

Eclipse glasses are being offered at some local libraries and online. But be sure to look for the ISO rating 12312-2 on the glasses. You shouldn’t be able to see anything through the glasses but the sun. If you see clouds they’re not safe.

Welding helmets are ok to look at the sun. NASA and space.com recommend a welding helmet with a glass of 14 in order to view the eclipse.

If you don’t have any glasses you can make what’s called a pin hole projector. Tape a piece of paper to a cardboard tube and cut a small hole at the top with a push pin. Hold the tube toward the sun and aim the bottom part of the tube on another piece of paper. You’ll can do something similar with an empty cereal box.

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