As the buzz around Monday's total solar eclipse grows louder, many Utah residents are gearing up for what promises to be a spectacular celestial showcase, despite the state not being in the direct path of totality. The excitement is palpable, and nowhere more so than in the heart of Provo, where one local family is turning their astronomical passion into a nationwide initiative to enhance the eclipse-watching experience.

Meet Roger and Allyssa Sarkis, the dynamic duo behind a blossoming home-based business dedicated to designing, selling, and shipping eclipse glasses. Inspired by the overwhelming community engagement during the 2017 solar eclipse, Roger recalls a moment of unity and wonder: "Everybody flooded out of the offices downtown Salt Lake, and for 20 minutes, the world stood still, united by the awe of the eclipse." It was then that the idea sparked. They collected undamaged glasses and shipped them to South America for the next eclipse, laying the groundwork for their future enterprise.

From their garage in Provo, the Sarkises are not just selling glasses; they're crafting gateways to a shared moment of cosmic beauty. With Roger's background in earth sciences and geography at Utah Valley University, their venture is as much about education as it is about entrepreneurship. "This is about bringing to life the wonders we discuss in the classroom," Roger shares, emphasizing the importance of quality lenses that offer real protection, a standard signified by the ISO symbol on their products.

What began as a modest side project has skyrocketed to success, with sales poised to hit the half-million mark by eclipse day. This achievement is not just a testament to their business acumen but to the universal allure of the solar eclipse.

Although Utah won't witness the total eclipse, regions in the northwestern part and along the Wasatch Front are expected to experience a significant darkening of the sky, with about 50% obscurity. But as KSL meteorologist Devan Masciulli points out, the weather plays a crucial role in eclipse visibility. From uncertain conditions in Texas and Oklahoma to promising clear skies in New York and New England, the forecast is a mixed bag. Masciulli advises would-be eclipse chasers to stay updated with the National Weather Service for the latest predictions.

Amidst the anticipation and preparation, the Sarkises in Provo are more than just suppliers of viewing glasses; they're ambassadors of an experience, a moment of collective wonder that won't come again until 2045. "You're not just buying glasses," Roger says, "You're securing your front-row seat to a once-in-a-generation event." And as the country looks up, they're hoping for clear skies and a shared moment of awe that transcends the ordinary, making the eclipse an unforgettable spectacle for families across the nation.

Roger Sarkis