For many, the total solar eclipse over Idaho on August 21 will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. There are some things you will definitely want to do and others that you need to avoid when it comes to experiencing the upcoming big show in the sky.

DO - Stay in the Magic Valley

Yes, it's true we won't see complete totality, but we'll be close. If you don't already have reservations in the Idaho Falls/Rexburg area, you won't find any now. Many completely sold out months ago. Google has an eclipse simulator you can check out. In Twin Falls specifically, it's gonna look pretty awesome.

DON'T - Look directly at the sun without protection

You are probably aware of the old "don't look directly at the sun or you'll go blind" saying. That's no joke. As Gizmodo points out, you start getting a retinal sunburn the moment you start looking at the sun. The University of California-Santa Barbara chronicled that it doesn't take long for permanent damage to happen just like many experienced in the 1999 solar eclipse.

DO - Buy special eclipse glasses

Yes, there are homemade recipes on the Internet for viewing the solar eclipse with gear you make. No, you shouldn't use them. Eclipse glasses are only a dollar or two at most retail stores that carry them. The problem with making something yourself is what happens if you do it wrong. The potential for permanent eye damage is real.

DON'T - Think your sunglasses offer enough eye protection

Astronomy Now mentions that even though your sunglasses make your eyes more comfortable for everyday use, they don't offer specific protection that would make looking at an eclipse safe.

DO - Try to take pictures of the solar eclipse

A total solar eclipse that goes directly over Idaho is rare. You'll want to remember where you were when it happened.

DON'T - Take pictures without a solar filter on your camera

The Mr. Eclipse website gives some great tips for specific things you can do with your camera to get great images of this historic event. But, unless you want to damage your camera sensor, a good solar filter is your friend.

The total solar eclipse will reach totality over the western parts of Idaho at 11:27 am and 11:35 am for the eastern portion on August 21. You will likely never see anything like it in Idaho again.

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