GALLERY: Your Partial Eclipse Photos

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A partial solar eclipse has a whole lot of folks excited.

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“I think that we’re going to get some really great views of the sun,” said Dave Falkner of the Minnesota Astronomical Society. “There’s a huge sun spot group to go along with the eclipse, and it’s just really exciting.”

Armed with telescopes, cameras, tripods and chairs, people are eager to see the moon slip between the sun and earth.

“Partial solar eclipses happen about twice a year, but it’s rare that we are actually able to view one from Minnesota,” Falkner said. “The last time we saw one was almost two years ago.”

Sally Brummel, the director of the University of Minnesota’s Planetarium, reminds us of the dangers of looking directly at the sun.

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“Our retinas don’t have pain receptors,” Brummel said. “So when you look at the sun and the sun gets focused on your retina, it can damage that without even hurting.”

She also showed us how to use a shoe box to make a pin-hole camera. It’s a simple and safe way to see the eclipse.

This time around, Minnesotans will be able to get a good view of what’s happening far away.

“Very lucky this time,” said astronomer Michael Gordon. “It’s a shame when you miss out on some of the much more exciting total eclipses.”

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Gordon says we’ll most likely have our chance to see one of those in about two years.