This is the perfect week to find your eclipse viewing spot

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Consider this week your eclipse dress rehearsal.

From now until Sunday, the sun will follow a path through the sky that’s almost exactly the same as its track on the day of this summer’s highly-anticipated total solar eclipse.

Columbia will experience a rare total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, and has been identified as one of the top places to experience the event.

Photographers and researchers especially can use this week as a way to check and be aware of where the sun will be come August, University of South Carolina physics and astronomy professor Steve Rodney said.

“Just about anywhere will be a good view because the sun will be high,” he said, adding that the sun appears at its highest point in the sky during summer.

Rodney recommends being near trees, however, in order to see a uniquely dappled shade effect that happens during the partial eclipse, when light filters through the trees and forms tiny crescents. Just make sure you can easily step out from the shade to see the sun when totality occurs at 2:41 p.m.

This week, Rodney is enlisting the help of students to monitor 10 locations on campus that will be eclipse viewing and information spots on August 21.

The university will also host a free public lecture by Dr. Sarbani Basu, solar physicist and chair of the Yale Department of Astronomy, August 18 at the Moore School of Business.

Related: Everything we know about the total eclipse in Columbia