What Time Is The Total Eclipse & How Long Does It Last?

Photo: Getty Images.
After years of anticipation, the Great American Eclipse — the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in 99 years — is finally here.
A shadow will fall across different parts of the country at different times. From start to finish, today's eclipse will last about four hours, with the moment of totality occurring over the course of 100 minutes. According to NASA, the eclipse will begin in Madras, Oregon, at 9:06 a.m. PDT, with totality hitting just after 10:19 a.m. PDT and lasting a little over two minutes. The eclipse will end in Columbia, South Carolina at 4:06 p.m. EDT, with totality starting there at 2:41 p.m. EDT.
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The majority of the U.S. does not fall within the path of totality and will only see a partial eclipse. However, it's still worth knowing when the eclipse will cross your area so you can head outside — safety certified glasses on — to see and join in on the spectacle.
The easiest way to find out the optimal time to leave your desk is to check out NASA's interactive map. Although the map focuses on the arc formed by the path of totality, you can click on any coordinates to see when the eclipse (or partial eclipse) will begin and end, as well as when there will be "maximum eclipse" — when the moon will cover the sun the most. There's also a helpful chart here showing start and end times in some of the prime cities where totality will take place.
Before and after the eclipse covers your city in shadow, you can tune into one of multiple live streams taking place to see what it looks like. Before you go to Instagram your own experience, read up on these photography tips and how to take the proper safety measures to ensure you don't harm your lens or your eyes.
Of course, to fully take in the moment, eclipse chasers recommend putting your phone or DSLR down, and letting your eyes do all the looking.
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