Conn. College astronomer will witness total solar eclipse

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NEW LONDON -- Other than when storm clouds roll in, when was the last time you remember it getting dark during the day time?

A Connecticut College astronomer is counting down the days until she gets to experience the dark side of the moon.

"I'm definitely excited," said Prof. Leslie Brown, who has never witnessed a celestial event of this magnitude.

"This one that's coming up is the first total solar eclipse that will cross the continental U.S. in some 38 years," said Brown, an Associate Professor of Physics.

Monday, Aug. 21, to experience a total eclipse, where the sun's disc is completely obscured by the moon passing in front of it, one will have to be somewhere along the 40 mile wide path of totality, which will stretch from Oregon through South Carolina.

"I'm going to be going to Nashville, Tennessee," she said.

It will be almost entirely dark in Nashville for approximately two minutes. Connecticut will experience a partial eclipse.

"We'll get about 68% to 70% of the sun's disk covered," Brown noted.

The maximum dimming in Connecticut, just after 2:30 pm. But, don't forget solar glasses or even arc welders glass.

"I put this (arc welders glass) taped to a hole in cardboard then I can make little hand grips on the side, completely blocks the sun, gives me a viewing port," said Brown.

And, even if the eclipse should be eclipsed by clouds, NASA will be live streaming.

"Google has a really lovely interactive map which shows you how much of an eclipse you're going to get at each location in the continental U.S.," she noted.

The eclipse will begin just before 1:30 pm in Connecticut and be complete by 4 pm.

For more information on this total eclipse, NASA provides this linkĀ .