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Solar Eclipse Provides Some Business Opportunities

Houston will experience a partial eclipse, so special glasses are likely in high demand.


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Courtesy National Weather Service via Rice University
The United States will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979 on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

Starting at 11:46 a.m. Monday, Houston will experience a partial solar eclipse.

Further north in the country, people will see a total eclipse.

The last time the United States experienced a total solar eclipse, Jimmy Carter was president. No wonder then that it's a pretty big spectacle.

Patricia Reiff, physics and astronomy professor at Rice University, has witnessed 13 total eclipses all over the world.

She said one thing that's in high demand in the time leading up to these events are solar eclipse glasses, which let you look at the sun without damaging your eyes.

"The companies that make the approved ones have been running night and day for two years to create enough," she said. "So that as many people as possible can observe this eclipse safely."

At last check these types of glasses sold for about $10 a piece on Amazon.

Another effect is increased travel to the parts of the country where the eclipse is total – that is, where the moon will cover the sun completely.

Betsy Gelb, marketing professor at the University of Houston, said the problem for the communities in that area is that unlike for sporting events, for example, it's hard to prepare for this one.

"You have no idea where they're going to land, or if, for this brief viewing opportunity," she said.

The path of totality is about 70 miles wide and will pass from Oregon to South Carolina.

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