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Total solar eclipse to cross US from 6:15pm (BST) to 7:49pm (BST) Partial eclipse will be seen in the UK Solar eclipse enthusiasts descend upon tiny town of Hopkinsville What time is the eclipse, where is it, plus the science behind it How to watch a solar eclipse safely Will the eclipse cause secret planet 'Nibiru' to destroy Earth next month? Millions of Americans armed with protective glasses are taking positions along a slender ribbon of land cutting diagonally across the United States to marvel at the first total solar eclipse to unfold from coast to coast in nearly a century. After weeks of anticipation, the sight of the moon's shadow passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but the halo-like solar corona, will draw one of the largest audiences in human history, experts say. When those watching via social and broadcast media are included, the spectacle will likely smash records. Some 12 million people live in the 70-mile-wide (113-km-wide), 2,500-mile-long (4,000-km-long) zone where the total eclipse will appear on Monday. Millions of others have traveled to spots along the route to bask in its full glory. Great American eclipse, in pictures The phenomenon will first appear at 10:15 a.m. PDT (6:15 BST) near Depoe Bay, Oregon. Some 94 minutes later, at 2:49 p.m. EDT (7:49 BST), totality will take its final bow near Charleston, South Carolina. The last time such a spectacle unfolded from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast was in 1918. The last total eclipse seen anywhere in the United States took place in 1979. For millions of others who can't get there, a partial eclipse of the sun will appear throughout North America if there is no local cloud cover. Perhaps never before have so many people had the opportunity to see a total eclipse, said Michael Zeiler, a self-described "eclipse chaser" who on Monday will notch his ninth time seeing "totality." Where and when to see the eclipse Weeks of publicity have fanned excitement,he said, and may have persuaded many families to make last-minute plans for a road trip to the zone. Zeiler, who runs GreatAmericanEclipse.com, a website devoted to the event, estimates that up to 7.4 million people with travel to the zone to observe the total eclipse, which takes place in the peak vacation month of August. Many people have trekked to remote national forests and parks of Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming, while others have bought tickets to watch the show en masse in a Carbondale, Illinois, football stadium, a two-hour drive southeast of St. Louis. What creates a total solar eclipse In South Carolina, Charleston County's more than 16,000 hotel rooms are booked, tourism officials say. Police expect up to 100,000 visitors to the area on Monday. Those who live along the path, which cuts through a few population centers like Kansas City and Nashville, Tennessee, can simply walk out their homes and look skyward. For all but the couple of minutes of totality, observers must wear specially designed solar-safe sunglasses or filters to avoid severe eye damage. It is never safe to gaze directly at a partial eclipse with the naked eye. Stay with us for all the latest news and pictures below... 2:47PM The exact "point of the greatest eclipse" The Telegraph's US Correspondent Nick Allen is at the exact point of the greatest eclipse for us in a field in Kentucky, where farmer Mark Cansler is the official winner of the cosmic lottery. According to Nasa the point of greatest eclipse is at the GPS coordinates 36.9664 north, 87.6709 west, about 11 miles outside the town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. It will go dark for more that 2mins 40secs. The exact spot is next to an old hay barn in a field owned by Mr Cansler. It's a 70-acre farm and has been in his family since before 1900 and used to be an apple orchard. This barn in a farmer's field in Kentucky is the point of greatest eclipse pic.twitter.com/VS70EnYLi8— nick allen (@nickallen789) August 21, 2017 The field itself is fallow and after much deliberation Mr Cansler decided to allow people, including NASA, to watch the eclipse from it. A family sets up a tent at their campsite at sunrise for the solar eclipse in Hopkinsville Credit: AP Sheltering from the heat in his barn Mr Cansler told The Telegraph: "It's hot here in Kentucky so we mostly spend our time looking for shade, not looking at the sun. "About 10 years ago the local paper had a story that this would be the biggest place for totality. We didn't think much about it. Then as the years went by we realised how big an event it was going to be. Local Jim Cleveland sets up a camera at his campsite at sunrise Credit: AP "We were fortunate to be in a position where the field was fallow so it was a good opportunity to allow the educational folks, like Nasa, to come and be in the field and share it with everybody. "It's become something really big for the entire area. It's going to be something very special. I just hope everyone's safe and it's good weather. Looks like it will be." 2:33PM Why the total solar eclipse is so special "People may see the stars come out in the daytime," says Affelia Wibisono, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Why the total solar eclipse is so special 01:39 2:02PM Conspiracy theories Could the Great American Eclipse signal the start of the apocalypse? Probably not, however some conspiracy theorists believe it could be the beginning of the end. David Meade, author of 'Planet X – The 2017 Arrival', asserts the planet Nibiru (also known as Planet X) will crash into our own on 23 September 2017 - here’s why. This may prove that the whole Planet X(Nibiru) is real, if we can see another light source that is clearly not the sun next to the eclipse— Justin Skedel (@JustinRSkedel) August 21, 2017 Christian numerologists say #eclipse will make planet Nibiru crash into Earth and now I wish I bought $12 eclipse glasses instead of $8 ones pic.twitter.com/6SOvZyO4Wo— Ryan Adams (@filmystic) August 20, 2017 1:32PM When will the next total solar eclipse be visible in the UK? You’ll be waiting a few years. Britain won’t see a total solar eclipse until September 23, 2090. So, a bit of a wait then … Don't worry everyone, we can see a Total #Eclipse in the UK on the 23rd September 2090. pic.twitter.com/hgdnr1KI4a— Hadlow College (@Hadlow_College) August 21, 2017 Oh good, not long to wait then.— Jσє Sнєρραя∂ #TeamLH (@BladeThundrbolt) August 21, 2017 Can't believe we won't be able to see the #Eclipse today in Europe �������� it's okay, just have to wait until 2090...— Ethan King (@ethanaaronking) August 21, 2017 The next total solar eclipse visible in the UK will be on the 23rd of September 2090. Late afternoon. Clear your diaries. #Eclipse— Alexander Sabin (@ADASabin93) August 20, 2017 12:44PM Public service announcement: drive safely Interstate 80 traffic info boards right now in Eastern Nebraska. A post shared by swami1888 (@swami1888) on Aug 20, 2017 at 7:54am PDT 12:34PM Test your knowledge 12:33PM Where to see the eclipse in the UK Where to see it | UK solar eclipse 12:30PM America prepares Tens of thousands of people have descended on small towns positioned for the best viewing of the eclipse. Some brought telescopes, some brought the party... Visitors wait and adjust telescopes Solartown in Madras, Oregon Credit: Barcroft Media Festival goers dance at the Oregon Eclipse Festival Credit: AFP A hot air balloon rises above Solartown in Madras, Oregon. Tens of thousands from all over the world have decended on the little town Credit: Barcroft Media Visitors sit in stopped traffic trying to get into Solartown in Madras, Oregon Credit: Barcroft Media A vendor arranges decorated solar viewing glasses during an arts and crafts fair ahead of a total solar eclipse on the campus of Southern Illinois University Credit: Bloomberg 12:18PM The jokes have already started ... And they're totally awful Your welcome! #eclipse A post shared by Kelsey Hart (@hart.kelseymusic) on Aug 20, 2017 at 9:58am PDT Found some eclipse glasses at Walmart pic.twitter.com/AiLRNUI9Pe— robert collins (@StizzyAbe) August 21, 2017 12:14PM Turtle eclipse Terry Pratchett fans rejoice, the Discworld has delivered a flipping good graphic... Don't panic everyone, here's what we think is happening! #Eclipse#Eclipse2017#Discworld#TerryPratchettpic.twitter.com/DgZiFbn154— Discworld Emporium (@Discworldshoppe) August 21, 2017 12:11PM Welcome to Eclipseville, Kentucky The Telegraph's US Correspondent Nick Allen is in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the 'point of greatest eclipse', eagerly awaiting the big moment. He reports: As she served hundreds of "lunar lattes" in a coffee shop in the unusually chaotic rural Kentucky town of Hopkinsville, Amanda Huff-McClure kept a wary eye out the window. On the horizon several clouds loomed. A decade ago Hopkinsville, an otherwise little known former tobacco town, won the cosmic lottery. Nasa declared it would be the "point of greatest eclipse" as a 70-mile swathe of the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina, goes dark on Monday. It is the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1979 and Hopkinsville, or "Eclipseville USA", as it is now widely known, will experience an unrivaled 2 mins 41.2 secs of totality. The town has busily spent the last 10 years preparing to cash in like crazy, with up to 200,000 visitors set descend on it down a two-lane road. Vast quantities of "Total Eclipse Moonshine" with the slogan "Lights Out!" have been brewed. Homes are reputedly being rented out for $10,000, parking spots for $250. The economic boost for a town that needs it has been estimated at $30 million. Read the full dispatch here 12:04PM Where to see the eclipse if you're in America.. Where to see it | The Great American solar eclipse
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