Total eclipse of the sun

Solar eclipses, like the one that will happen Monday, were infused with meaning for some ancient cultures. 

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Although the solar eclipse is still more than nine months away, the Wyoming Highway Patrol has already begun preparations for the tens of thousands of visitors expected for the August festivities.

None of the troopers or dispatch center staff will be able to ask for leave between Aug. 14 and Aug. 27 so that the agency can be at full staff on the days surrounding the Aug. 21 eclipse, according to a news release from the agency.

The highway patrol could relocate troopers from counties expected to have less visitors to the counties designated as prime viewing areas: Teton, Sublette, Fremont, Natrona, Converse, Goshen, Platte and Niobrara counties.

The highway patrol has already met with event planners in Casper, where officials are preparing for tens of thousands of visitors, and is scheduled to meet with planners in other cities soon. The agency is also coordinating with the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming Office of Tourism and local law enforcement.

Casper and many other Wyoming cities are considered some of the best places in the country to view the eclipse.

Teton County previously said they expect up to 40,000 visitors during the eclipse. Most of the hotel rooms in Casper have already been reserved.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

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