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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7fa0000Countdown to August 21We're sure you know by now that a total solar eclipse will make its way from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, August 21, but are you prepared? Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. KMUW has information on the proper ways to watch a solar eclipse, historical context, and ways to mark this much-anticipated celestial event. And on August 21, you can follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with KMUW, Kansas News Service, and NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.In the meantime, peruse our stories below, including Deborah Shaar's feature on How To Watch A Solar Eclipse Safely, Beth Golay's Marginalia interview with David Baron, author of American Eclipse, and here are some great resources from our friends at SciFri!

Eclipse Chasers Flock To Midwest — For The Event And Loved Ones

Creative Commons, flickr

The path of totality, marked by today's historic total eclipse of the sun, arcs across much of Kansas City and its surrounding areas.

Missouri is expected to have more people see the eclipse by default that most other places because the path of totality hits both Kansas City and St. Louis. Local cities like St. Joseph, Missouri, and Atchison, Kansas, have been fielding requests and making preparations for eclipse chasers hoping to get a prime viewing spot in the area.

Travel is expected to be heavy around eclipse time — and not only on the roads.

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Zach Krumme is coming from London to watch the eclipse in St. Joseph.

Zach Krumme works for the World Bank doing debt and equity investment in emerging markets. He comes back annually to see family — but timed his visit this year to the eclipse.

"I'm traveling 4,341 miles to see the eclipse in St. Joe," Krumme says. "Having never seen an eclipse before, I'm really looking forward to this opportunity."

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Ben Bauermeister has family in Augusta, Missouri. He's traveling from Port Townsend, Washington, to watch the eclipse with them.

Ben Bauermeister is a social entrepreneur and musician in Port Townsend, Washington. He'll be coming to visit his brother and sister-in-law, play some music and watch the eclipse outside of St. Louis.

"I've always been intrigued by the sky and the stars and the moon. [I'm looking forward] to witnessing the grandest largesse our environment has to offer and to feel the smallest you can feel at the same time," Bauermeister says.

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Steve Tannen plays guitar with The Weepies, a band that will perform in Kansas City the night before the eclipse.

Steve Tannen is with the Des Moines-based band The Weepies. Tannen says they've never played Kansas City before; they'll play a concert the night before the eclipse. He's been through eclipses elsewhere in the world.

"I had a chance to see a total eclipse in Turkey," Tannen says. "It was the closest thing to being near an alien planet. It was a totally cosmic experience."

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David Katz and Chase Schober are driving overnight from New Orleans to watch the eclipse outside St. Joseph.

David Katz graduated in December from Tulane University in New Orleans. He's currently working in mental health and marketing. Chase Schober will graduate from Tulane in December with a degree in physics.

"We're going to stay with a family friend who's got models of solar systems everywhere, and like, telescopes and stuff like that," Katz says. "I've been telling Chase we're gonna get to completely nerd out with him and bask in whatever geeky knowledge he can throw at us for the day."

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her on Twitter @laurazig or at lauraz@kcur.org.

Laura Ziegler began her career at KCUR as a reporter more than 20 years ago. She became the news director in the mid 1980's and in 1988, went to National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. as a producer for Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon.