Even before we get to the eclipse and some of the details surrounding it, I think we can all agree that we couldn't have asked for better weather for eclipse viewing on this Monday.

We'd been told in the two weeks leading up to today that it would probably be a cloudy day on April 8th, which would have wrecked everyone's plans for eclipse viewing--so kudos to the various weather-people who pretty much got this one wrong. Today should be beautiful, cloudless, and about 70 degrees, which is just what you need to enjoy the eclipse.

Here are some other things to know to get the most out of your experience:

Total eclipse of the Sun. The moon covers the sun in a solar eclipse.
Getty Images
Family looking at solar eclipse in the city street in a public park
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First Off, This Is A Bigger Event Than The Eclipse We Saw Back In 2017

The last time we went crazy over a solar eclipse was in 2017, when the "duration of totality," or time period that the sun will be completely covered, was about two hours and forty seconds. The duration of totality for today's eclipse is nearly double that of the 2017 eclipse, coming in at about 4 minutes and 25 seconds.

So, you've got double the totality time of 2017's eclipse, and more people in what's called the "path of totality" than we had in 2017, too. 32 million Americans are in the path of totality this year, compared to 12 million in 2017. Across the country, more than 150 million people live with 200 miles of the path of totality.

Be careful doing this. (Getty Images)
Be careful doing this. (Getty Images)

You Should Never Try To Photograph The Eclipse Without A Proper Filter On Your Phone Or Regular Camera

Unless you're really sick and tired of using that phone or camera for taking photos, because you can do a real number on any camera by taking photos or video of the sun without using a good filter.

It's too late to order one from Amazon (delivery would be post-eclipse), but if you already have eclipse glasses that are made to protect your eyes as you watch the eclipse, you're all set.

Just cover the lens of your camera with one lens of the eclipse glasses and you'll get your photo or video without destroying your phone's future photographic abilities.

Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

It's Going To Be 20 Years Before We See This Type Of Eclipse Again In The Lower 48 States, So It Might Be Worth Checking It Out For Just That Reason

We will get another solar eclipse before then, on March 30th, 2033, but it only touches a very small part of Alaska. The next notable eclipse that can be seen by most of the country will take place on August 12th, 2044.

Here are the numbers you'll need for eclipse viewing today in Illinois:

According to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, the best time for viewing the total solar eclipse will be this afternoon between 1:58pm (CST) and 2:06pm (CST). Don't forget, you'll need special viewing glasses for this event to protect your eyes.

Here's the percentage of totality (the amount of the sun covered by the moon) for some Illinois cities and towns today, starting in the north and working south:

        • South Beloit: 90.67%
        • Rockton/Roscoe: 90.69%
        • Machesney Park: 90.99%
        • Loves Park: 91.03%
        • Rockford: 91.18%
        • Byron: 91.25%
        • Dixon: 91.66%
        • Chicago: 94.22%
        • Peoria: 94.51%
        • Bloomington: 95.85%
        • Springfield: 96.65%
        • Champaign: 97.91%
        • Carbondale: 100%
        • Metropolis: 100%

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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

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