The moon will sweep its shadow across Earth for about 3 1/2 hours on Thursday, creating a total solar eclipse along a band from Hawaii to the Brazilian Amazon Basin.
Thousands of people have already left for prime viewing spots. For those who are left behind, here is a quick guide:
* WHAT TO LOOK FOR: As seen from Maryland, the moon will cover only about 7 percent of the sun.
* WHAT TO AVOID: Never try to watch a solar eclipse directly. Even a quick glance can cause permanant eye damage. Instead, build or buy eclipse box.
* WHEN TO LOOK: The partial eclipse will begin at 2:57 p.m., reach maximum at 3:34p.m. and end at 4:09p.m.
* FOR A BETTER VIEW: CNN plans four minutes of live coverage from Hawaii at 1:27 p.m. EDT, and again from Mexico at 2:37 p.m.