Aug
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Viewing of the Total Eclipse

August 18, 2017

Total Solar EclipseNorth Americans will get to experience something on Aug 21 that they haven’t seen since February of 1979. A remarkable and natural wonder, a total solar eclipse.

What is a total solar eclipse? Basically, it is when the moon moves in front of the sun and completely covers it but only for a short period of time. The entire sky will go dark in the middle of the day. However, in order to enjoy this phenomenon, there are some safety rules that you must follow.

If you are looking for the time of day that the eclipse will occur in your area, Vox has an interactive map of the eclipse that will show you the exact time the solar eclipse will occur in your area. All you need to do is type in your Zip Code in the yellow box. Using this tool we were able to see that the total solar eclipse will happen at approximately 1:18 pm Central Standard Time and the moon will block 86.4% of the sun at the Marketing RELEVANCE office in Arlington Heights (Zip Code 60004).

Looking directly at a solar eclipse can be damaging to someone’s eyes. The only time that it is safe to look at the solar eclipse is during the totality phase, which is when the moon completely covers the sun. Even then, you only have a short period of time in which to look at it. There are many ways to protect your eyes during the eclipse so you can safely experience one of nature’s true spectacles.

The only real safe way is to use special sunglasses that have solar filters. They need to be compliant with international safety standards and have the number ISO 12312-2. However, these can be expensive and there are many companies that are selling “fake” solar sunglasses. If you plan on purchasing a pair, make sure you reference the American Astronomical Society’s Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters and Viewers to see a list authorized dealers and ones that are compliant with the safety standards.

Another safe way to view the partially eclipsed sun is through a pinhole projection. This is a fun and safe way to look at it with children. You don’t need anything special to view it this way because you can use an index card, notebook paper etc. What you will be doing with this method is to pass the image of the sun onto a surface nearby such as the wall, the ground or another index card. You cannot look directly at the eclipse with this method!

By following the above safety tips, you will be able to enjoy this amazing phenomenon! If you would like to follow the countdown till the total solar eclipse, go to https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.

 

About The Author

Lauren Pond

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