Countdown is on: 2 months until total solar eclipse races across U.S.

DENVER — In two months, a rare total solar eclipse will fade daylight to the level of a moonlit night in some portions of the U.S.

A solar eclipse happens when a rare alignment of the sun and the moon casts a shadow on Earth.

On Aug. 21, a full solar eclipse will race across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. It will be the first time since 1918 a total eclipse will move across the U.S. coast to coast.

Fourteen states, including Wyoming and Nebraska, will see the total eclipse. It will miss Denver by about 200 miles.

The total eclipse will be in the path of totality that will average 68 miles in width. NASA said there are about 200 million people who live within 500 miles of the path.

The closer to the center of the path of totality, the longer the total eclipse will last. Casper, Wyoming is in the middle of the path and is hosting a festival on the weekend before and the day of the event.

The eclipse will begin in Casper at 10:22 a.m., with totality lasting from 11:43 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The eclipse ends at 1:09 p.m.

Thousands of people are expected to make the drive from Colorado to Wyoming and Nebraska to be in the path of totality.

Colorado will see a partial eclipse. The eclipse will begin in the Denver area about 10:24 a.m. and will reach its maximum coverage of about 90 percent at 11:47 a.m.

NASA officials said people will need special glasses to view the event, but not during totality.

Other states in the path of totality areĀ Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina.