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How to stay safe during solar eclipse in Fargo-Moorhead

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FARGO -- If you're planning on watching the solar eclipse in two weeks, beware.

You'll need the right safety gear to watch this spectacle in the sky.

"Astronomers are calling it the great american eclipse," said Juan Cabanela, MSUM astronomy professor.

In two weeks the moon will pass over the sun, but this isn't just any eclipse.

It's the the first total solar eclipse to hit North America since 1979.

Even though Fargo-Moorhead will only be treated to a "partial eclipse," astronomers say it's still a sight to see.

"A partial is still really neat, and you still have the moon and sun lining up, and you don't have that very often," said Sara Schultz, MSUM planetarium director.

But before you can see the phenomenon, you need to protect your eyes.

"There's so much hype over it that a few reputable people are selling plastic glasses as eclipse lens," said Cabanela.

Astronomers say fake solar glasses look exactly like reputable brands, but could give you permament eye damage.

To help you out, the American Astronomical Society has released a list of approved supplies and vendors.

If you put regulation glasses on, you can stare directly into the sun without damaging your eyes.

It's important to have solar glasses. Using normal sunglasses or even a welder's mask won't work.

But astronomers hope that won't deter people from experiencing the eclipse.

"I'm really excited to inspire the next generation too, and kind of get that spark early so that they realize there's really cool stuff if you're paying attention," said Schultz.

So, if you are watching the skies, remember to put on your glasses and enjoy the view.

MSUM will hold a watch party on the west side of campus in the parking lot. They'll have telescopes and glasses to see the event.

You can also go to the college's book store to buy the glasses beforehand for only a dollar.

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