Solar Eclipse viewing party at Lake Mead Aug. 21

Solar Eclipse viewing party at Lake Mead Aug. 21. 8/08/17 (Lake Mead National Recreation)

America's national parks will be some of the premier viewing sites for a rare solar eclipse that will be crossing the United States, August 21.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area will be holding a free viewing party at the visitor center from 9 a.m. to noon.

The 2017 eclipse is the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States since February 26, 1979. Prior to that, the last eclipse to traverse from coast to coast was June 8, 1918.

On August 21, the moon's shadow will race across the land, crossing from the Oregon coast to the point where South Carolina meets the Atlantic Ocean in just one and half hours. Throughout the continental United States, people outside the path of totality will witness a partial eclipse, as the shadow of the moon covers or eclipses some portion of the sun.

At Lake Mead, 71 percent of the sun will be eclipsed. The eclipse will begin at 9:09 a.m. and end at 11:53 a.m. with a peak at 10:28 a.m.

During the eclipse, natural sunlight will be disrupted as the moon moves directly between the sun and Earth, casting its shadow on the ground below. Visitors can safely view the eclipse with rangers at the Lake Mead Visitor Center using a solar telescope and solar glasses.

For more information about the eclipse and for interactive maps, click here.

For more information about the viewing party, call 702-293-8990.

The next solar eclipse visible from the continental United States will be April 8, 2024.

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