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How to watch Tuesday's total solar eclipse

Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 08, 2016

Get ready for a total solar eclipse when the moon obscures the sun, darkening the skies and casting a spectacular shadow.

The bad news: Chances are you're one of the billions of people who won't have a front-row seat to the spectacle in the sky this week.

A total solar eclipse will be visible to people in parts of southeast Asia, while people in parts of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and America Samoa will be able to enjoy a partial solar eclipse, according to NASA .

While the moon passes between Earth and the sun every month, the phenomenon of a solar eclipse occurs when the celestial bodies are perfectly aligned, with the moon blocking the sun. The solar eclipse will occur on March 9 in Sumatra, Indonesia, and will then cross the international date line, moving northeast across the Pacific Ocean and ending on the afternoon of March 8 local time just short of Hawaii.

NASA plans to livestream the period of the total eclipse, which is predicted to happen from 8:38 p.m. to 8:42 p.m. ET Tuesday night.

If you're lucky enough to see it a person, make sure to wear protective eyewear. Under no circumstances should an eclipse be viewed directly through binoculars or a telescope, according to NASA, as the lens could intensify the sun's rays and injure the viewer's eyes.

The next solar eclipse that will be visible in the continental United States is set for Aug. 21, 2017, according to NASA .