If you haven't gotten your eclipse glasses yet, you're running out of time. A total solar eclipse is hitting the United States on Monday, Aug. 21, and people are freaking out. From what it'll do to your retinas to what it'll do to your relationship, everyone wants to know what's up with the solar eclipse. And with one day to go, tweets and memes about fake eclipse facts are trending on social media. Because you might as well get some good jokes in.
First, some real facts: a solar eclipse is when the moon positions itself directly between the sun and the earth, and the moon's shadow blocks out the view of the sun from earth. The full eclipse will last about two to three minutes for areas in the "path of totality," where the sun is completely blocked out, and surrounding areas will see a partial eclipse. It'll start at about 10 a.m. PT on the West Coast, and end at around 3p.m. ET on the East Coast.
As a reminder, there are some very real consequences of a solar eclipse that are 100% not fake facts. Like, you can seriously and permanently damage your eyes by looking directly at the eclipse (so don't do it). The only way to safely look at the eclipse is with a pair of special eclipse glasses, or by using other methods, like the pinhole method, to look at the eclipse indirectly. And no, sunglasses don't cut it.
Also: yeah, people in the olden days thought that eclipses were harbingers of doom. What the upcoming eclipse means for our current political situation in America is open to interpretation, but science tells us it's extremely unlikely that the world will end in a rain of fire (at least not because of the eclipse).
Also pretty unlikely? These suggestions.
Monday's eclipse is the first one to be visible from the continental U.S. in 38 years, so you can't blame people for getting a little confused about the details. But now you know, and you won't get tricked.
No matter how much you'd like to believe.