In just about a week, people from all over the world will begin flocking to Maine to see the total solar eclipse.

For those who skipped that day in science class, a total solar eclipse is when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth.  During the height of the eclipse, the Moon will block out the sun, making daytime appear to be the middle of the night.  Depending on where you are when viewing the eclipse, the amount of time you spend in complete darkness can vary greatly.

The path of totality also factors into your experience.  The closer you are to the center of the path the eclipse takes, the darker it will be during its peak.  For example, in Augusta, it will be about 98% dark.  In the Aroostook County town of Houlton, which lies directly on the path of totality, it will be 100% dark during the peak of the eclipse.

While many people will be taking the day off from work so that they can enjoy this amazing celestial event, not everyone has that option.

Many people will be stuck at their jobs during the eclipse.  Some people will need to be on the road during the event.

For those who are going to be driving during the eclipse, several departments of transportation have a message for you: don’t wear your eclipse glasses while you are driving!

Nathan Watson / Unsplash
Nathan Watson / Unsplash

A Facebook post from the New York State Department of Transportation says, in part:

These glasses block almost all visible light which will make driving nearly impossible. So, if you’re driving during the eclipse, let's keep our eclipse glasses off and our focus on the road

Yes, if you have to drive, make sure you keep your eclipse glasses off.  However, if you do need to drive during the eclipse, avoid looking at it.

Honestly, you are probably better off just being off the road during the event.

The Maine DOT also reminds people to make sure their headlights are on during the eclipse.  They also ask people not to work on the interstate, on muddy roads, or in work zones.

Whatever you are going to be doing on the afternoon of Monday, April 8, please be safe.

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