GREENSBORO, N.C. – The countdown is on...the biggest 'skytacular' event of our lifetime, a total solar eclipse will happen on Monday, August 21.

In order to enjoy and speak intelligently about a major event you have to know the lingo, right? To help with the eclipse we left it to a professional...Tom English, Director of the Cline Observatory at Guilford Technical Community College.

Here are terms he said everyone should know as it relates an eclipse:

  • Photosphere
  • Chromasphere
  • Corona
  • First, second, third, and fourth contact
  • Baily's beads
  • Diamond ring
  • Totality

English says that to view the eclipse, you will need to wear eclipse sunglasses that are safe for direct solar viewing, certified by the British Standards Institute and meet the requirements for ISO.

For rabid sky watchers, the Cline observatory hosts public viewing events every Friday after sunset. The viewings are free of cost.

The observatory will not be open on eclipse day, as staff will be in Columbia, S.C., the closest point to North Carolina in the path of totality, viewing the eclipse.