BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — We’re about half a year away from the total solar eclipse set to be seen by Buffalonians, who will be in the path of totality.

Erie County wants locals to view it safely. So, they’re giving out hundreds of thousands of “eclipse viewing glasses.” The Buffalo Museum of Science says 300,000 pairs are now available for free at 37 Buffalo & Erie County public libraries.

“A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon and sun align, casting a shadow on the Earth,” the Buffalo Museum of Science says.

The museum warns that looking directly at the sun without eye protection before and after totality could lead to vision damage or blindness.

“To avoid this danger, securing eclipse-viewing glasses from reputable sources is critical for eye safety,” the museum says.

The total solar eclipse is going to happen on April 8, but before that, there’ll be a partial solar eclipse this Saturday, October 14.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.