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America is preparing to get the first solar eclipse which will span across the continent in almost a century, and Americans are excited about this mega event. Southwest Florida residents are busy studying the most effective method of viewing the Eclipse.

Mark Femminineo, the NASA flight integration engineer, works out of Cape Canaveral station and recently spoke of the rarity of this solar event.

Rarity of the Event

According to Femminineo, total eclipses are so rare that they occur all over the world only once every 18 months, though partial eclipses are rather common. But to be able to see the total eclipse in one place is even rarer, and only occurs once every few hundred years.

As per records, the last total eclipse that occurred over the American continent was in 1979. The last eclipse that could be observed throughout the country was one year less to a century from now.

The total eclipse that will occur now will cause complete darkness in the sky over a 70-mile strip of land, extending from the coast of Oregon to South Carolina on August 21. The county is celebrating the eclipse in a big way, and many special events have been planned around it. Many of the hotels in the small towns which fall into the path of the total eclipse have been fully booked. Tickets to a special train trip which will be carrying views to the best spot for observing the eclipse in the United States, organized by Amtrak, have been sold out within 22 hours.

Precautions and Measures to be Taken

Southwest Florida residents can expect up to 77 percent eclipse coverage according to Femminineo if they view the eclipse from the Naples area.

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However, he also stressed that adequate measures should be taken by all persons when observing the solar event.

He said that precautions are key for any eclipse, as this is the only time that people try looking directly at the sun, something that should not be attempted with a naked eye, as this will cause immediate blindness. Due to lack of nerve endings in the retina, the person who is going blind would not feel any pain, and wouldn’t know it until it is too late.

Femminineo has advised all residents and visitors to only use NASA approved glasses that have filters, or dark goggles used in welding operations to look at the sun during the eclipse. A cardboard with a hole that can project the eclipse onto a plain surface can also be used without risk to the eyes.

Femminineo himself is very excited to view the eclipse and encourages all people who can travel to do so to watch the total eclipse. Those who are unable to travel at this time are still lucky, as America will be experiencing another total eclipse on April 8, 2024, that will be covering Texas and New England.