Residents of the country are in for a rare treat.
On Aug. 21, a solar eclipse will cross over the contiguous United States, as the Moon places itself between the Earth and the Sun.
While those to the north of us will get a better view, Gulf County residents are still set to get see an eclipse of approximately 83 percent, according to NASA.
Folks in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas will be lucky and see a total eclipse.
This year’s total eclipse is very similar to the total eclipse of June 1918, in which the arc of the eclipse followed a similar path as this year’s, from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast.
The last eclipse visible from our area occurred in 1998 when the region was able to see an eclipse of approximately 30 percent.
Gulf County’s best show came in March 1970, when the arc of a total eclipse came across the Yucatan Peninsula and almost ran directly over Gulf County, allowing for a 93 percent blockage.
If you are unable to spot this year’s eclipse, the next opportunity will come in 2024, when an eclipse again rises out of Mexico on its way to New England.
That eclipse will be a nearly 80 percent eclipse for Gulf County.
If you're a fan of the cross-country variety, your next opportunity will have to wait until 2045, when again the eclipse drags across the country this time from Northern California before it crosses nearly on top of Gulf County and then down the state.
While you may be excited to get a chance to see a “once in a lifetime” solar event, officials and medical experts warn that viewing an eclipse must be done safely.
According to power point training provided to the Gulf County Emergency Operations Center by WatherSTEM, viewers of an eclipse are strongly recommended to use approved solar safety glasses.
While some may think that ordinary sun glasses may be efficient to protect their eye sight they are wrong.
According to NASA, a properly approved pair eclipse safety glasses will be approved by International Organization for Standardization and will have an ISO marking on them.
Approved eclipse safety glasses are over 100 times darker than normal sunglasses.
Those wishing to snap a photo or view the galactic event through telescopes must also use an approved filter if they wish to remain safe.
The eclipse will last from 1:07 to 4:05 p.m ET, with the peak time happening at 2:39 p.m ET.
In the case of clouds, or if you cannot make it outside to see the event, NASA will be live-streaming the eclipse beginning at Noon at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive.
That stream will consist of a myriad of views from various locations including ground location, high altitude balloons and the International Space Station.