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Coming soon to a sky near you: summer’s most anticipated blockbuster. Around 9 a.m. Pacific time on August 21, the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse the United States has seen in nearly a century begins to chart a course from Lincoln City, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. The moon will slide in front of the sun, sending a shadow racing more than 1,200 miles per hour across the country. Then, anyone within a 70-mile-wide diagonal band will see the eclipse hit its high note—totality. For up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, day turns to night as temperatures drop, nocturnal animals and stars emerge, and the sun’s corona swirls and pulses around the moon’s outline. Astronomers are calling it the Great American Eclipse. We’re calling it the show of a lifetime.

Here’s how to put yourself in the path of the Great American Eclipse and other celestial wonders this summer.

(Read the full story in the August 2017 issue of Sunset)