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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!

Atchison Braces For Influx Of Visitors For Total Solar Eclipse - But Just How Many?

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Small communities in northeast Kansas are bracing for a massive influx of visitors for Monday's total solar eclipse. Atchison County officials expect as many as 35,000 visitors.

"It is just a guess. It really is," says Jacque Pregont, president of the Atchison Chamber of Commerce. "We really don't know. I mean, we know there's probably going to be 10,000 or more at Benedictine [College], we know there's going to be at least 5,000 at the airport. Beyond that? It's all guesswork."

She says area law enforcement officials -- as well as local hospitals and emergency responders -- have beefed up staffing levels to deal with heavy traffic and the throngs of additional people coming to the area.

Schools in Atchison and other towns in the path of totality have cancelled classes Monday so school children can watch the eclipse.