On Monday, August 21, North America will see a rare total solar eclipse.

The total eclipse will stretch from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. In Michigan, we will see a partial solar eclipse.

Ross Reynolds, professor of physics at Grand Valley State University, offers advice on how to best view the partial solar eclipse from West Michigan.

Reynolds says West Michigan will see its maximum amount of coverage of 81 percent around 2:20pm.

"The further south and west, the more complete the eclipse will be, but the best will only be a bit more at 85 percent down on the border near Michigan City and the worst will be around 70 percent in the Upper Peninsula. As the eclipse will happen around 2pm, the sun will be high in the sky so there is no need to look for big open spaces with low horizons because anywhere without clouds will do," said Reynolds.

The planet Venus may also be visible about one third of the way between the sun and the western horizon.

Safety should be a top concern. The eclipse should not be viewed without proper protection such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters and ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun.

GVSU's Regional Math and Science Center will be distributing eclipse glasses at three locations on the Allendale Campus from 10-11:30am on August 21. Glasses will be available at The Connection, at the RMSC office located in Mackinac Hall (room C-1-120), and outside of Mackinac Hall near the Copeland Hall Living Center.

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