This coming Monday, millions of Americans from Texas to Maine will gaze up at the sky to watch a rare total solar eclipse. Those directly within the eclipse’s 115-mile-wide pathway will experience a few minutes of fleeting darkness as the moon completely blocks the sun. Only in places that lie along the line of totality, like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, will the sky significantly darken.

Though Binghamton does not lie within the path of totality, the city will experience up to a 97 percent blockage of the sun. New York state will not experience another total eclipse until 2079, so here are a few ways to prepare for this month’s once-in-a-blue-moon celestial experience.

Grab proper safety gear

Protecting your eyes is a must before viewing a solar eclipse — staring at the sun, even if partially blocked, can cause permanent damage to your retinas. Make sure to obtain glasses that are specially designed for viewing the sun, since regular sunglasses are not safe for use. When hunting for solar glasses, be sure to confirm that they comply with international standards that regulate how much ultraviolet light can safely pass through the solar eyewear filters.

If you cannot obtain eclipse glasses or filters in time, you can make a solar eclipse viewing device at home. A homemade pinhole camera can allow someone to indirectly view the eclipse. NASA and other organizations have step-by-step instructions on how to build one before the big event.

Pay attention to the weather

A clear sky gives you the best shot at viewing the eclipse. Clouds or dreary weather can ruin the day by blocking your view of the alignment. So far, weather forecasts predict Monday to be partly cloudy in Binghamton, but be prepared to drive or take public transportation to get a better view of the sky.

Find a sun-gazing spot

Consider attending a solar eclipse event planned either on campus or Downtown. A solar eclipse watch party is being held Monday on the Binghamton University Peace Quad with eclipse glasses available for students in Old Union Hall beforehand. If you find yourself in Downtown Binghamton, the Broome County Public Library will host programming for students and families to learn more about solar eclipses.

Prefer to find your own spot? Go to a public park or an outside space not obstructed by taller buildings, like Otsiningo, Confluence and Recreation Parks.

For the total eclipse, consider a road trip to Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Syracuse or any of the other cities that fall within the line of totality.

Figure out photography

You can photograph the solar eclipse using a smartphone or a DSLR, mirrorless or film camera. Make sure to get special solar camera filters before photographing — your eyes can still be damaged from sunlight through a viewfinder. Camera filters are even available as snap-on attachments to a smartphone, and attaching your camera to a tripod for stability is widely recommended. Many online sources provide recommendations for specific lenses or filters to get the best shot of the eclipse. Be sure to plan in advance where you would like to take photographs.

Create a solar eclipse-themed playlist

There’s no better way to get into the celestial spirit than with a solar-eclipse-themed playlist. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a must-have track for the occasion. In a sunny mood? Listen to hits like “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield, “Island in the Sun” by Weezer, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles, “Steal My Sunshine” by Len, “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes, “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden and “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.

A solar eclipse is only possible thanks to the moon. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra and songs from Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album “The Dark Side of the Moon” will add some lunar energy to the playlist.

Bring food and refreshments

Make sure you and your friends bring snacks to enjoy while outside. Sun Chips, sunflower seeds and sun-dried fruits like mangoes and apricots are perfect for the occasion. Still hungry? Have a picnic outside with homemade eclipse-themed dishes, like a sun-dried tomato pasta salad sprinkled with feta cheese. To quench your thirst, make sure to bring along some Capri-Sun pouches and Sunkist soda.

Get creative and have fun watching the Great North American Eclipse!