LIVE FEED: Watch the Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse | Image by NASA

In a matter of hours, Dallas will be in the path of a total solar eclipse for the first time in nearly 150 years, and residents and out-of-towners have been preparing to get a front-row view of the cosmic event. Watch the live event here:

The eclipse is set to begin at 12:23 p.m., with totality lasting from 1:40 p.m. to 1:44 p.m., and comes to an end at 3:02 p.m., according to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which is hosting some 7,000 guests for a sold-out viewing event Monday afternoon.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, hotels all over town are virtually at capacity, and officials are expecting to see a significant spike in visitors that could snarl traffic before and after the hundreds of viewing events planned throughout the city. Despite reports of potentially unfavorable viewing conditions due to poor weather, people all over the metroplex are intent on taking in the celestial scene, with hundreds of events planned.

Regardless of rain or shine, witnessing the eclipse must be done taking the proper precautions as looking directly at the Sun can cause serious injury.

“Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing,” NASA warns. “Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.”

The nation’s leading space agency strongly advises viewers to use solar viewing glasses, or “eclipse glasses,” with solar filters that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

“You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s bright face — during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the Sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer,” NASA says on its website. “As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright Sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the Sun.”

While an array of such products have been on sale online for weeks, the Perot Museum partnered with the Carnegie Institute to provide 1 million eclipse glasses to students around North Texas, as previously reported by DX. Some school districts have viewing activities planned for their students, but others have opted to close for the day because of the anticipated traffic issues facing not just the metroplex but other parts of Texas as well.

Those without eclipse glasses, however, can still enjoy the event in real-time by projecting the image through a number of methods.

As of Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service projected that clouds will make for less than optimal viewing, though there is still a chance they will break. Still, people in the Dallas area should be advised that severe weather is expected in the hours following the eclipse, with the potential for flooding.

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