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Couple built special house 16 years ago just to watch the solar eclipse

by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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A couple has spent 16 years preparing their home to watch the two minutes of Monday's complete solar eclipse.

Jon and Susan Brewster built their home in Monmouth, Oregon, in a specific spot and also constructed an observatory on the roof in order to give them the best view of the highly-anticipated solar eclipse on Monday.

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Since building the home in 2001, they have fine-tuned a 7-foot domed telescope that sits up on a 20-foot concrete column on the roof in anticipation of the solar eclipse.

"We’ve been planning for all these years to be ready for the big great American eclipse," Jon told NBC affiliate KGW. "I wrote the dome control software and attached it to the scope software. All of this work for two minutes. I’m like, 'Yes, of course.' It was never a question."

The Brewsters have been waiting for this day since 1979, when the last total solar eclipse was visible in Oregon.

"We're not completely kooks," Jon said. "But we've known and planned all along and it's just a great place to do astronomy."

The Great American Eclipse will be the first to exclusively cross the nation, from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast, since June 8, 1918. It will be visible in varying degrees all over the country, with the full eclipse being seen only along a 60- to 70-mile wide path from Oregon to a South Carolina beach.

For those who don't have specially-created observatories on the top of their homes, experts say you need to wear special eclipse glasses to avoid the harmful effects of staring at the sun.

The Brewsters aim to photograph the eclipse from the automated observatory, using software created and tested by Jon, who is an electrical engineer with Hewlett-Packard.

The couple, who have had stargazing parties at the house over the years, plans to have about 100 friends over for a viewing party on Monday.

"I can hardly believe it's time already after all these years,'' Jon told NBC affiliate KMTR. "Here we are."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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