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An annular solar eclipse in progress graces the sky at Dog Beach in San Diego, California, USA, 1992. N J Gargasz / Alamy

By Zeke Hausfather

With a total solar eclipse sweeping across North America, everyone is suddenly paying attention to the sun. One of the most common skeptical arguments against human-caused climate change is that changes in solar activity, rather than just CO2, is playing the biggest role.

At first glance, it seems to make intuitive sense: The sun is a massive nuclear fusion reactor a million times larger than Earth, it is responsible for almost all the energy reaching our planet, and in the past few decades scientists have learned that solar activity varies significantly over time. Indeed, changes in the distribution of sunlight reaching the Earth clearly change the temperature dramatically on a daily and annual timescale.

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Are you ready to watch the Great American Eclipse of 2017? Will you be in the path of totality? Do you have your safety glasses ready?

Well, however you decide to watch the solar eclipse today, NASA TV will be showing the "Eclipse Across America" with live video of the celestial event. The feed is already live with lots of handy information about today's unprecedented eclipse. So be sure to watch above.

Enjoy!

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By Anne Bolen

On Aug. 21, for the first time since 1918, a total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. from coast to coast. Along the path of totality, the moon will completely block out the sun, turning day to twilight for nearly three minutes. While a partial eclipse will be visible throughout the U.S., millions will be flocking to spots along the path of totality, which begins in Salem on Oregon's coast about 10:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and exits the nation at Charleston, South Carolina, where maximum coverage will occur about 2:47 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Perhaps no other natural event will inspire so many people to go outdoors.

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Takeshi Kuboki / CC BY (Flickr)

By Laura Wisland

The Great American Eclipse, as many are calling it, is a big deal for both committed and casual star watchers alike. On Aug. 21, starting at approximately 9:15 a.m. PT, the moon will move in front of the sun to completely block its rays, leaving a swath of people across the U.S. in eerie and fantastic darkness for about two minutes. Totality!

A total solar eclipse happens about every 18 months, but most of the time the moon's shadow appears in remote places where very few are around to witness the spectacle. The coming August eclipse will be the first in the nation's history to completely occur over the continental U.S.

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The eclipse at annularity. The Moon is too small to cover the entire Sun's disk so a ring or "annulus" of bright sunlight surrounds the Moon. Dale Cruikshank / NASA

On Monday, Aug. 21, people living in the continental U.S. will be able to see a total solar eclipse.

Humans have been alternatively amused, puzzled, bewildered and sometimes even terrified at the sight of this celestial phenomenon. A range of social and cultural reactions accompanies the observation of an eclipse. In ancient Mesopotamia (roughly modern Iraq), eclipses were in fact regarded as omens, as signs of things to come.

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Total solar eclipse. NASA

Just yesterday at my local supermarket checkout line, I was innocently asked why I needed to pick up a pair of solar eclipse glasses. "Um, because I could go blind," I responded. "You should get a pair, too."

You see, I happen to live on the South Carolina coast, which is right on the path of totality and the last stop of the Great American Eclipse of 2017 (it's unofficial nickname). Many people are getting excited for this special event, and it's clear that some of you have pertinent questions. I'm here to help.

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This August, Americans will have a rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse from their homeland, but it will also be a misfortune for solar arrays nationwide.

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By Kelly Kizer Whitt

If you had the good fortune to have clear skies in January, you may have noticed what looks like an especially bright star near the western horizon after sunset. In fact, it's not a star at all but the radiant planet Venus, shining brighter than all other stars and planets.

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By Bob Henson

Between a record-strong El Niño and catastrophic floods, fires and drought, 2016 was a memorable year for weather and climate in North America as well as globally. What can we expect as we roll into 2017? A precise weather forecast is asking too much, but there is already a lot we can say about some key factors. Here are six developments to watch for in 2017. They're presented in rough order of increasing confidence, followed by details on each prediction.

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