(WSVN) - The excitement ahead of next week’s solar eclipse is growing and while we may not see a total eclipse, South Florida still will have a front row seat for the rare moment. But eclipse gazers be warned: Don’t stare at the sun without the proper glasses.

The rare opportunity to witness a solar eclipse comes with responsibility to keep yourself safe.

“You can be injured by a solar eclipse,”said Chad Sosolik, a physics professor at Clemson University. “If you look directly at the sun, then they’re invisible rays. So ultraviolet and infrared can burn your eyes.”

The eclipse will cross over North America on April 8 and safety should be the top priority of everyone watching it.

“Prepare yourself and prepare your kids. You don’t really have nerve endings in your eyes, so people are going to be tempted to stare at the sun, and we don’t want anybody getting injured,” said Sosolik.

South Florida should be able to see about a 50% eclipse, outside of the path of totality, which runs from Southwest Mexico through Dallas, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, Indianapolis, Indiana, all the way to Montreal.

Those cities will see anywhere from 1 minute to 4 minutes of totality. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon orbits directly in front of the sun, but most of the country will see a partial eclipse still noticeable darkness for minutes here in South Florida.

While we amateurs watch from the ground, NASA will be studying from the sky.

“To study how the sun affects the Earth and how our Earth responds to it,” said Kelly Korreck, a spokesperson for NASA.

Korreck said they will launch three rockets before, during and after the eclipse with scientific instruments aboard.

“Going up into that layer of the atmosphere again, where communication signals are key, and studying the changes in density and temperature. While the eclipse is passing by,” she said.

When you watch, make sure you shield your eyes with proper glasses.

To ensure you’re not getting a fake pair of eclipse glasses, you can check the list of safe manufacturers and resellers on American Astronomical Society’s website.

Eclipse enthusiasts can get free glasses for viewing the upcoming solar eclipse at Warby Parker stores. Miami-Dade and Broward County libraries are offering glasses for free, while supplies last.

The Frost Science Museum in Miami is hosting Solar Eclipse weekend ahead of the April 8 event. On the day of the eclipse, the museum will host an all-day event filled of special programming where guests will be able to view the partial eclipse using solar viewers.

7News’ Jack Royer will be live from Dallas, Texas on April 7 to show viewers the eclipse live from the path of totality.

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