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Good Question: Is a 92 percent eclipse 'good enough?'

Is a 92 percent eclipse 'good enough?' (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) On August 21, states from coast to coast will go dark in the middle of the morning as the moon eclipses the sun’s light. It has the scientists at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City abuzz, especially director Seth Jarvis.

“It's a huge deal," he said.

But in northern Utah the sun will only be eclipsed about 92 percent. In order to see the sun fully eclipsed, people who live along the Wasatch Front need drive about 300 miles into Idaho or Wyoming.

And good luck with that!

Hotels and camp sites in the "eclipse zone" are primarily sold out. Those that still do have availability are charging an arm and a leg.

It prompted 2news viewer Kelly to write asking, is it worth the "frustration trying to get to Idaho or Wyoming if it is nearly 90% in SLC?"

For an astronomer like Jarvis, heck yeah it's worth it. For everyone else, it depends on what you want to see.

"It is a celestial wonder that is deeply moving at an emotional level to see the world change so rapidly," he said. “Even if you just stick around the Wasatch front and just experience a 92 percent partial eclipse, it'll be pretty cool."

But just as a small amount of light pollution can block your ability to see into space, so too with the sun’s light in anything but a total eclipse. Those in the eclipse zone will have a different experience, Jarvis says.

"The stars come out in the middle of the day. You feel the air cool around you."

Jarvis offers this bit of caution: plan ahead! The roads that day are likely to be a mess.

"People should plan on waking up on the morning of the 21st wherever it is they plan to observe from."

And now we know what the eclipse will look like in Utah compared to the eclipse zone. Whether or not it’s worth the hassle to Kathy, or you, is, of course, up to you.

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