If you somehow missed the news, many parts of the United States will be witness to a total solar eclipse on August 21 for the first time in over 90 years. It'll be possible to see the eclipse in at least some capacity throughout the continental U.S., although folks in parts of the pacific northwest, mid-west, and southern U.S. will be the only ones to see the total eclipse.

Whether you're travelling to view the eclipse in totality, or if you're keen to observe at home, there are a few apps on the market to help you understand just what you're looking at. Just remember, never look at the sun, even if it's partially eclipsed, directly or through your phone's camera. Get yourself some of those hip eclipse glasses.

Solar Eclipse Timer

This app is an invaluable tool if you're playing on viewing the eclipse from the path of totality. It will give you verbal cues counting down to the eclipse, before describing all of the different phases during the eclipse itself. It even tells you when it's safe to take your glasses on and off.

Solar Eclipse by Redshift

Redshift's app is perfect for anyone with an interest in the solar eclipse, whether they're in the path of totality or not. The app features a timer with verbal cues, but you'll also find interactive eclipse simulations, 3D globes, and lots of helpful solar eclipse facts.

Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day

This Apple Design Award winner is a true boon for amateur astronomers, eclipse or no eclipse. This handy app creates an interactive map of the night sky via GPS by simply pointing your phone's camera at the night (or daytime) sky. The app helps you identify planets, stars, and other celestial objects. Sky Guide's well prepared for the eclipse, too. You'll again find timers and other eclipse viewing tips and tricks.

Are you traveling to see the eclipse next week? Let us know about it in the comments.

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