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On August 21 of this year, people living in the United States will be treated to a total solar eclipse the likes of which hasn’t been seen here in almost a century. It will be a dramatic, multisensory experience. As the moon passes in front of the sun, the noon sky will go dark and the stars will come out. Temperatures will fall. Birds will grow silent in the sudden twilight, while crickets will awaken.

I have been waiting 38 years for this day to arrive.

On average, a total solar eclipse is visible from somewhere on Earth about once a year. The last total solar eclipse to touch the continental U.S. was on February 26, 1979, when half the current U.S. population wasn’t yet born. That eclipse touched only a tiny portion of the Pacific Northwest, but it happened to go right over my house in Portland, Oregon. Today I may be a professional astronomer, but back then I was a 9-year-old kid who had just fallen in love with NASA and space exploration. I learned about the eclipse in my fourth-grade class.

Unfortunately, mostly what I learned about it was to be afraid.

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Image: A total solar eclipse is visible through the clouds as seen from Vagar on the Faeroe Islands, Friday, March 20, 2015.

A total solar eclipse is visible through the clouds as seen from Vagar on the Faeroe Islands on March 20, 2015. Apart from a few small breaks, a blanket of clouds in the Faeroe Islands blocked thousands of people there from experiencing the full effect of the total eclipse. Eric Adams / AP

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Click link below for article and videos:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/the-big-questions/i-was-robbed-my-eclipse-experience-don-t-let-happen-n741126

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