Man who suffered eye damage from eclipse warns about glasses as excitement grows for rare event

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- You're going to want to look up at the sky on Monday, because nearly everyone in the U.S. will get quite the show during a rare total solar eclipse.

"We have not had a total solar eclipse cross the continent in over a hundred years, so I think it's exciting for everyone," Cindy Hall said.

But full totality, that's something special.

"There's nothing like it? It's 10 folds better than a partial," Hall said.

The path of totality will sweep across the U.S. starting in Oregon, ending in South Carolina. But, no matter where you are, if you plan to look up at the sky, you have to be careful.

"I probably stared it about 30 seconds to a minute, on and off," Fred Karst said.

Karst was 15 years old when he watched the last eclipse, without safety glasses. And in that short amount of time, he suffered permanent eye damage.

"Both eyes, eclipse burns, so basically, what is that? It's like in flash photography; you see that little swirly thing after the flash. I see it all the time. It never goes away," Karst said.

Hall works at the department and science and math at the College of Charleston, and she says the first step is to make sure your glasses are made by an approved manufacturer.

"If you go to, they have a list or reputable vendors," Hall said.

And then? Put them on and enjoy the show.

"You can take them off and view the corona without your glasses, only time you can view the sun without your glasses," Hall said.

Click here to read more about some of the misconceptions that go along with eclipses.

On the day of the eclipse, we'll bring you live coverage on TV and online. Click here for other ways to watch this rare event in the Bay Area.

VIDEO: Total solar eclipse 2017: Everything you need to know
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What makes this eclipse so rare? These facts and figures answer that and more.

The sun, moon and Earth will line up perfectly that Monday, turning day into night for a few minutes from Oregon to South Carolina. A partial eclipse will extend up through Canada and down to the top of South America.

VIDEO: How will you power down for the eclipse?
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On Aug. 21, the sun and the moon will duke it out as California experiences a near total solar eclipse. This will put a major dent into our state's solar energy production. You can help offset the loss just by using those watts more wisely.

The total eclipse on Aug. 21 will last just 1 1/2 hours as the lunar shadow sweeps across the country.

The 2017 Path of Totality
NASA says, "This animation closely follows the Moon's umbra shadow as it passes over the United States during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Through the use of a number of NASA datasets, notably the global elevation maps from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the shape and location of the shadow is depicted with unprecedented accuracy."


How are you celebrating this rare event? Share your photos and videos on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook by tagging them #abc7now and we may show them online or on TV!
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