COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – On Monday, August 21, 2017, the contiguous United States will experience its first full solar eclipse since 1979.

At 2:41 p.m., total darkness will set in and the temperature outside will plunge. During that afternoon, Columbia will be in the moon’s shadow for about 2 minutes and 36 seconds, as the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. The area will experience the longest period of 100 percent total solar eclipse for a metro area on the entire East Coast.

“The astronomy community here in Columbia, and really the entire country, is going nuts over this,” says Matthew Whitehouse of the South Carolina State Museum Observatory.

Only a handful of spots in the entire country will have a good view.

According to NASA, the path of the Moon’s umbral shadow begins in northern Pacific and crosses the USA from west to east through parts of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina (note: only a tiny corner of Montana and Iowa are in the eclipse path). The Moon’s penumbral shadow produces a partial eclipse visible from a much larger region covering most of North America.

The U.S. won’t see another total eclipse until April 8, 2024. Much of western and northern parts of central Ohio will be able to see the total phase of the 2024 eclipse.