Highly-anticipated total solar eclipse happening today: Here's what to know

Posted at 6:11 AM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 14:48:53-04

DENVER – The most highly-anticipated astronomical event in years is finally here. This morning, thousands of people from coast to coast will watch as the moon eclipses the sun.

This is the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States in decades and hundreds of thousands are expected to travel to reach the path of totality – a 70-mile-wide strip stretching from Oregon to South Carolina where the view of the eclipse will be the best.

PHOTOS: See photos of today's solar eclipse

WATCH: Live coverage of 2017 total solar eclipse

Already Monday morning, traffic has been heavy on northbound Interstate 25 as people drive north to Wyoming. Towns like Casper are right in the path of totality, making it a prime destination for eclipse watchers.

PHOTOS: Coloradans migrate north for eclipse

In the Denver area, the eclipse should begin at about 10:23 a.m., peaking at about 11:47 a.m. with approximately 92 percent of the sun covered. The eclipse should be over a little after 1 p.m. So far, the weather forecast is looking good, with mostly sunny skies expected.

MORE: See the eclipse weather forecast

MORE: Your definitive guide to watching the eclipse in Colorado

If you’re planning to watch the eclipse, remember to wear protective eyewear. Sunglasses will NOT protect your eyes! You need specially-designed eclipse viewing glasses. If you haven’t been able to find any, the Denver International Airport will be handing some out this morning.

MORE: See all of Denver7’s eclipse coverage here