Columbia, S.C. (WLTX) - On August 21, Columbia will become a popular tourist destination for millions. That's because the Famously Hot City is the perfect place to witness 2 minutes and 30 seconds of a total solar eclipse.

News19 is bringing you all the facts you should know before the big event. But first, what is a total solar eclipse?

An eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. This causes the moon to temporarily cast it's shadow on the earth's surface.

To see a total eclipse, you must be in the path of totality. The first point of contact in the west coast will be Salem, Oregon and over the next hour and a half it will cross through several other states including South Carolina.

The eclipse is expected to end on the east coast in Charleston at 2:48 p.m.

We will continue to keep you informed on the total eclipse on air and online at