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Total solar eclipse
(AP Photo, File)

NASA shows when and where the next total solar eclipse is happening, the first in 40 years


NASA shows when and where the next total solar eclipse is happening, the first in 40 years

Watch | A once-in-a-generation celestial event.

Make total eclipses Great and American again 

Where were you on Feb. 26, 1979? If you weren't born yet, then next year you'll have your first-ever opportunity to see a total solar eclipse on mainland USA.

Viewable on Aug. 21, 2017, the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, as it's being called, will have a viewing path from Oregon to South Carolina, NASA has forecasted.

Where exactly will you be able to view?

Though most of the country will be able to see some form of next summer's solar eclipse, cities like Gallatin, Tennessee; Salem, Oregon; Kansas City, Missouri; and Charleston, South Carolina, are in the total eclipse viewing path, which means the moon will block the view of the full surface of the sun in these spots.

The total eclipse path will run through about 12 states, while neighboring states will get a nice look at a partial solar eclipse.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse's Path Across the U.S.

Indonesia had a total solar eclipse this March.

You probably shouldn't stare right at it

Think of a totally eclipsed sun like the eye of a hurricane: It's a brief window where the sun is actually safe to look at, but a direct stare at the partial eclipse that occurs before and after the total eclipse could cause permanent damage to your peepers.

So the risk in staring too long at the total eclipse -- if you're not wearing protective eyewear or sunglasses -- seems obvious.

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