Where 'great' total eclipse will blot out Sun

Americans are bracing themselves for a once-in-a-century total solar eclipse which will cross the US on Monday.

Millions of tourists are expected to take to the roads to witness the solar spectacle, which is being described as the Great American Eclipse, as it plunges parts of 14 states into darkness.

But where will the natural phenomenon be the most visible?

:: Oregon

Oregon. Pic: Great American Eclipse

Partial eclipse will begin in Salem, Oregon, at around 9.05am (5.05pm UK) before the sun is completely obscured at 10.18am (6.18pm UK).

As it is covered, sightseers will be able to watch the peak of Mount Jefferson being enveloped in darkness.

In eastern parts of the West Coast state, the Sun will be eclipsed for two minutes and 11 seconds.

To mark the occasion, the city of Madras is hosting a three-day ‘Solarfest’.

:: Idaho

Idaho. Pic: Great American Eclipse

From around 11.25am local time (6.25pm UK), eastern parts of Idaho will begin to be covered in darkness.

Ironically, Sun Valley sits in the middle of the path of the total solar eclipse.

The lunar event will also cover the Craters of the Moon Preserve in darkness – a lunar-like protected area formed by a vast ocean of lava flows.

:: Wyoming

Wyoming. Pic: Great American Eclipse

As the path of the total solar eclipse continues east, people in parts of Wyoming be able to enjoy the spectacle for more than two minutes and 20 seconds.

In Casper, thousands of people are expected to arrive as a festival and astronomy convention gets under way.

The influx of tourists is expected to be so large that authorities have advised hotels to stock up on toilet paper.

:: Nebraska

Nebraska. Pic: Great American Eclipse

While other states will experience longer periods of darkness, visibility in Nebraska is expected to be among the best as the state is forecast to enjoy good weather.

For this reason hotels across parts of the state have been fully booked up – with eclipse-watchers instead turning to Airbnb.

More than 1,400 people have booked rooms in Nebraska through the site – an increase of more than 1,500% for a typical weekend.

:: Missouri

Missouri. Pic: Great American Eclipse

More than a million visitors are expected to descend on Missouri, with many set to attend a viewing party at an airport in St Joseph.

The city lies right in the path of total eclipse and will be able to experience totality for two minutes and 39 seconds.

:: Illinois

Illinois. Pic: Great American Eclipse

The Midwestern state has the distinction of having the longest total eclipse duration in the US.

Just southeast of the city of Carbondale, the period of totality will stretch to two minutes and 41.6 seconds.

Excitement ahead of the natural phenomenon has caused a shortage of solar eclipse glasses in Chicago, where lines of people queued outside libraries to buy a pair.

Meanwhile, in Carterville, Ozzy Osbourne will headline an eclipse music festival called ‘Moonstock’.

:: Kentucky

Kentucky. Pic: Great American Eclipse

Kentucky’s total eclipse duration falls just short of Illinois’, but Hopkinsville has christened itself “Eclipseville” due to its close proximity with the point of greatest eclipse.

The city will experience totality for 2 minutes and 40 seconds and will have the country’s greatest alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth.

To prepare for the arrival of 100,000 guests, city authorities are bringing in additional mobile phone masts and cancelling operations at the local hospital to create an additional emergency room.

:: Tennessee

Tennessee. Pic: Great American Eclipse

More than a million visitors are set to visit the state, which has the largest city wholly within the path of the total solar eclipse.

Nashville will experience totality for one minute and 57 seconds from around 1.25pm local time (7.25pm UK).

In nearby Gallatin, a group of 300 Japanese tourists have booked a baseball field after discovering that it runs very close to the centre line of the eclipse path.

:: South Carolina

South Carolina. Pic: Great American Eclipse

Up 2.1m people are expected to flock to South Carolina – which is the closest ‘eclipse state’ to many of the big east coast cities.

As well as being the last US state to experience total eclipse, it will also have some of the longest periods of darkness in the country.

In the state’s capital city Columbia, the Moon will block out the Sun for two minutes and 30 seconds from around 2.40pm local time (7.40pm UK).

:: Europe

While the natural phenomenon will be best viewed from the US, a partial eclipse will also be visible from parts of Europe.

In parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland it can be seen for around an hour from 7.35pm in areas with clear skies.

:: Sky News will have full live coverage of the Great American Eclipse on Monday, 21 August

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