Everything you need to know about the August 21 solar eclipse in Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- On August 21, people across the country will have a chance to see an eclipse of the sun. Here's everything you need to know about eclipse day in Colorado.

>> Tap here for general information about solar eclipses, provided by NASA. 

Path of totality

The path of totality--where the sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon--runs in a diagonal line from Lincoln City, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The closest place to Colorado Springs to view the total eclipse is Casper, Wyoming--about 350 miles north of us. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout the United States.

>> Tap here for a map of the path of totality. 


If you'd prefer to stay in southern Colorado, you'll still get to see the eclipse at 89 percent totality. The eclipse begins at 10:23 a.m. Mountain Time August 21, with the max eclipse at 11:47 a.m. It ends at 1:15 p.m.


Never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. Only view the eclipse through approved eclipse glasses or solar filters. Regular sunglasses will not provide enough protection.

Eclipse glasses are available at several local retailers and online. Free glasses are available at all Pikes Peak Library District locations, while supplies last. Tap here for more information. 

>> Tap here for a list of companies that produce certified ISO-compliant eclipse glasses. 

In this video, FOX21's Justin Chambers explains how to spot fake eclipse glasses, which will not protect your eyes:

Alternatively, you can view the eclipse indirectly by projecting the sun's image with a pinhole or binoculars. In this video, FOX21's Justin Chambers demonstrates the technique:


The Colorado Department of Transportation is warning everyone who is planning to drive to Wyoming or Nebraska to view the total eclipse to be prepared for a lot of traffic, delays, and headaches.

Some experts predict up to 600,000 people could travel to Wyoming for the eclipse--basically doubling the state's population. Many of those people will be coming from the south, so roads like Interstate 25, Highway 287, Highway 85, and Highway 52 are expected to be busy. Heavy traffic is anticipated through the weekend, but especially immediately after the eclipse.

Larimer County has set up an easy way to get traffic, emergency, and weather alerts for the event. Just text "ECLIPSE" to 888777, and you'll get all the information sent to your phone. You can also go to cotrip.org in Colorado and wyoroad.info in Wyoming for real-time traffic updates.

CDOT is offering the following safety tips for travelers:

  • Pay attention, and don't drive distracted. Drive defensively because there will be more drivers on the road, and some of them may be slowing down or may not be paying attention when the eclipse is occurring.
  • Ensure vehicles have plenty of fuel.
  • Don't stop and pull off onto the side of the roads.
  • Don't use the center median crossings on the interstates for turning around or parking. Emergency vehicles need to keep these areas clear for response to emergency situations.
  • Don't park on any highway shoulder or in any ditch area.
  • Plan ahead and move to a safe and legal area prior to the eclipse so you can enjoy the experience.
  • Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks.

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