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Near total blackout

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The first solar eclipse since the ‘90s visible in Lansing

On Monday, from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. people across Lansing will cock their heads and aim their eyes at the sun to marvel at a blinding corona of sunbeams, witnessing a near-total solar eclipse.

Traveling east to west, Monday’s celestial phenomenon will be the first total eclipse visible from the contiguous United States since 1991. Lansing residents will only see a portion of that coverage. States along the sun’s direct path, about 70 miles wide, will experience a total eclipse, but here in Lansing the moon will cover about 90 percent of the sun’s surface. When viewing Monday’s eclipse, select a good viewing location and to protect your eyes.

And when picking a location to view an eclipse, keep weather and mobility in mind. Since Monday’s forecast is partly cloudy, your perfect viewing location must allow for some maneuverability if wayward clouds drift over your sight-line of the eclipse.

Large parks, nature centers and open spaces are ideal viewing areas for an eclipse. Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing at 201 E. Shiawassee St. offers a great view of the sky, as does Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge at 133 Fitzgerald Park Drive. Hawk Island, located in Lansing at 1601 E. Cavanaugh Road, is another great place to see the solar eclipse.

Before scouting out your viewing location, make sure to pack proper eye protection. Special eclipse glasses that comply with ISO 12312-2 international safety standard are the only glasses that will shield your eyes from the sun’s powerful rays. Walmart sells them for $1 a pair.

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