Around 7.4 million people could descend on the US to watch Monday’s total solar eclipse, astronomers have predicted.
The path of totality, the 60-70 mile wide line in which the total eclipse will be viewable, spans 14 US states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.
Authorities have advised people wanting to watch to arrive two days in advance, predicting the highest number of visitors will be seen in states such as Missouri and Tennessee.
:: What to expect during Great American Eclipse
Just over 12 million Americans live inside the path of totality, but millions more people will come from abroad, including from the UK.
Graham Cluer, his wife Adrienne and friend Gwen Lawton from south London booked their trip two years ago and said that, even that early, getting a hotel was “tricky”.
The amateur astronomer has packed an entire suitcase of camera equipment, hoping to capture the moment.
“Everyone says ‘don’t take a photograph of it, just go there and enjoy’, but no, I want that photograph of the diamond ring around the Sun.”
Comedian Jon Culshaw is among Britons who have flown out to witness the so-called Great American Eclipse.
He’s been fascinated with astronomy since the age of seven.
“A solar eclipse is the greatest sight in all of nature. It’s spectacular, inspiring, moving and there’s just nothing like it. People who’ve never seen one before see a total solar eclipse and it’s life changing. It’s really the most spectacular thing in nature you can see,” he told Sky News.
:: Where eclipse will blot out the Sun
Sky News Weather Presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said the weather forecast will play a “big part” in the eclipse experience.
She said: “Currently the latest weather forecast for Monday indicates that the clearest skies will be across Kentucky, Missouri and inland areas of Kansas and Nebraska, whereas in the Southeast there are likely to be cloudy skies and thunderstorms.
“Viewings may be obscured for Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas too as, by the time the eclipse happens there in the early afternoon, it could be rather cloudy.”
Buzz surrounding Monday’s eclipse was palpable at London’s Greenwich Observatory.
One of its astronomers, Tom Kerss, told Sky News that eclipses have a “really mysterious quality”.
He added: “They’ve been part of the history of superstition for millennia.
“Imagine trying to understand what an eclipse was thousands of years ago.
“Now we know of course they’re perfectly safe but they’re still absolutely awesome.”
If you’re not lucky enough to be jetting off to the US you can still watch a partial solar eclipse in the UK on Monday evening at around 7.40pm.
Ghaffar said that the partial eclipse in the UK will reach its maximum at about 8pm, although only 4% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon.
She added: “As it is happening very close to sunset in the UK, the north will have the best chance of seeing it, as it’ll be lighter there for longer.
“However, due to the effects of ex-Hurricane Gert, viewings of the partial eclipse are likely to be very limited on Monday in the UK, as many areas will most probably be be cloudy, wet and windy.”
For the best view though, you can watch it live on Sky News.