(WSVN) - As the anticipation builds for the upcoming solar eclipse, residents of Miami-Dade and Broward counties are preparing to join in on the celestial spectacle, though with a partial viewing.

Scheduled for Monday afternoon, this astronomical phenomenon, which we won’t see for another 20 years, is drawing attention across the region as various local museums hosting viewing parties and educational sessions.

“It’s all part of this learning experience,” said Jacob Bleacher, NASA’s chief exploration scientist, in an interview with 7News. “t’s a job, right? But at the same time, you take a breath, and you look around. You experience an event like this just like everyone around this area and along the path will do. I mean, it just drives home how important and exciting it is for us to understand our Earth — our Earth, moon and sun, our solar system — and the place that we have in it.”

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon positions itself between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow over the planet and briefly darkening the sky. This rare occurrence allow stars to be visible during the day and offers a unique spectacle for observers.

“It’ll be night — bird will chirp, crickets will crick — and generally there will be a bit of a breeze created by the cool air next to the warm air. It’s fantastic,” said scientist, Bill Nye.

Although it will be a sight to see, viewers are cautioned against looking directly at the sun without specialized eclipse glasses, designed to protect the eyes of harmful rays.

The eclipse’s visibility in South Florida is expected between 1:48 p.m. and 4:14 p.m., with peak viewing around 3 p.m.

“In Miami, specifically, we’re going to have about 46% of our sun covered by the moon at the maximum eclipse around 3 o’clock,” said Alec Warren with the Frost Museum. “We’re gonna see a really nice half-crescent sun. It’ll look like a nice crescent moon in the night time sky, except it’ll be in the middle of the day. So you’re gonna see something that’s really quite fun and quite spectacular in its own right.”

Local institutions like the Frost Science Museum in Miami and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale are among the venues offering a chance to safely experience the event.

The Frost Science Museum is providing free eclipse glasses with ticket purchases, while the Museum of Discovery and Science enhances the experience with related shows in its GeoDome Planetarium and IMAX theaters.The Fox Observatory in Markham Park is setting up telescopes for an up-close look at the eclipse, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Over at Zoo Miami, the Southern Cross Astronomical Society of South Florida will have solar equipment arranged in front of the facility’s ticket office to capture the partial solar eclipse. Certified solar glasses will also be available at the zoo.

Animals in captivity will be observed by scientists during the solar eclipse as they are expected to act abnormally.

While South Florida won’t witness the total eclipse — a phenomenon reserved for a path stretching from southwest Mexico to Maine — the partial eclipse promises to be a significant event.

“I think the most important thing to take away from a big event like this is just the amazement of curiosity,” said Bleacher. “Just ask questions, just wrap yourself in knowledge and learning, and that’s really what science is all about.”

Indianapolis is one of the many a prime destination for those chasing the total eclipse, with the city near the path of totality experiencing a surge in visitors and fully booked hotels.

“Eclipses have been a source of inspiration in cultures around the world for thousands of years,” explained Warren. “We really like to highlight that within our programming and just in the shared experience of seeing this in action.”

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