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Eclipse chaser spreads the word about August event


MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  (WMOT)  --  A man who calls himself a Solar Eclipse Chaser is spending the week in Tennessee.

Rick Brown is driving cross-country following the projected path of next month’s total solar eclipse. He describes the trip as a kind of eclipse outreach, making Americans aware of the event and how to view it safely.

Past eclipses have taken Brown all over the world.

“The first one was in Mexico, the next one after that was in Thailand, South America, and then we had two in Turkey, two in China, two in Africa, and one in Tahiti.”

Brown recommends you get yourself some eclipse glasses to protect your eyes. He does not recommend you try to take cell phone photos or video of the eclipse He says they’re not likely to turn out well.

Instead, he suggests you relax and enjoy the spectacle. He also says you may be surprised by the effect the eclipse has on the world around you.

“Look for things like animals reacting very strangely. The birds will react strangely. You’ll also see flowers that would normally close at night – they’ll begin to close. You’ll feel a drop in the temperature. A little solar wind will kick up.”

Here in the mid-state, the eclipse takes place August 21 beginning at around noon.  Total eclipse should occur at around 1:30 p.m.

Nashville is the largest city in the eclipse path as it slashes from northwest to southeast across the country so expect lots of visitors. Metro Nashville says it’s drawing up special plans for traffic.

Metro schools will be in session, but a number of schools in outlying counties are giving students the day off. 

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