Anticipation builds for Monday's solar eclipse

For the first time in nearly 100 years, Americans are treated to their first coast-to-coast solar eclipse.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The wait is almost over, as Americans get ready for the "Super Bowl of the sky."

The "Great American Eclipse" on Monday is the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States from coast-to-coast in nearly 100 years.

Here's a brief total solar eclipse science lesson: the sun is actually 400 times larger than our moon and the sun is 400 times farther from us, which means we see a nearly perfect fit.

Eclipse Glass Mania

But you can't witness perfection without a pair of NASA certified eclipse sunglasses.

Stores across the Carolinas, from Rock Hill to Charlotte, struggled to keep them on the shelves. Discovery Place had a limited number of pairs of glasses available Thursday, and lines were wrapped around the building as people waited for their chance to score a few sets.

In York County, the library had 400 pairs of glasses available starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. They were sold out about 12 minutes later.

Where to watch in the Queen City

While Charlotte is not in the path of totality, folks in the Queen City are still lucky enough to witness 98 percent of the eclipse.  Panovich says it will begin in Charlotte at 1:12 p.m. Monday, peak at 2:41 p.m. and end at 4:04 p.m.

Aside from planned events around town, Panovich suggests finding a nice wide-open space to view the eclipse.  Here are his top six:

  1. Crowder's Mountain
  2. Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Mountain Island Lake
  3. US National Whitewater Center
  4. Romare Bearden Park
  5. Overlook at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
  6. The top of the parking deck of Central Piedmont Community College by Memorial Stadium

RELATED: The procrastinator's guide to viewing the solar eclipse

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