Attention space enthusiasts, stargazers, and star-crossed lovers!

Abigail Wilt
July 7, 2017
NASA @ My Library Initiative/The Moore Foundation

In 1918, the continental United States witnessed a total solar eclipse, a rare phenomenon where – as seen from every state – the sun had at least 60% of its surface blocked by the moon. Now, almost 100 years later, stargazers and space lovers will have the chance to witness this stunning occurence on August 21, 2017. And, if you're on the mapped path from Oregon to South Carolina, you may be able to see the sun blocked out in its entirety.

To see this natural wonder safely, however, star watchers will need special eyewear to protect themselves from the sun's powerful rays. Normal sunglasses won't do the trick, and staring into the sun for an extended period of time can cause permanent damage. Lucky for us, the Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning, STAR_Net Libraries and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have teamed up to make sure that children of all ages can have a chance to view the spectacle. The organizations have committed to giving out 2 million pairs of special glasses through the eclipse programming of 4,800 libraries across the country. And, the best part – the glasses are free.

WATCH: Galaxy Candy Apples

Find a participating library in your area to take advantage of this cool opportunity (and, trust us – there are a lot of options!). The STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) has developed an interactive map as an addition to its Eclipse Resource Center, in conjunction with the NASA@ My Library initiative and the Moore Foundation.

So, mark your calendar for August 21, 2017 – this is one moment in space history that you and your family won't want to miss.