The 2017 Solar Eclipse is coming! Will you be watching?
What is the total solar eclipse?
August 21st will provide a rare and amazing phenomenon where the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, blocking the the sun from our view and casting a shadow.
Here’s a quick video that gives an intro to the eclipse.
Where will the total solar eclipse be visible?
Only a specific portion of the United States will see the total eclipse, those along the moon’s special path which starts in Oregon and continues diagonally to South Carolina. The rest of us not along this path will see a partial eclipse. The moon will eclipse the sun for approximately 3 minutes, so definitely research what time it shows up in each location so you don’t miss it.
Still amazing, as these eclipses only happen a couple of times in our lifetime. The last solar eclipse was in 1991, and I don’t remember watching it which means it was also during summer break and I didn’t know what to do. This time I want to be prepared.
Here is a video that shows the path of the total solar eclipse in the United States.
How to Safely watch the Total Solar Eclipse
Whether you are along the path of the totality or you only get to see the partial eclipse like I will, you absolutely must do this safely. Never look directly into the sun.
Eye Protection. Sunglasses in this case are not sufficient protection. You will need approved eclipse glasses. Approved means glasses with a designated ISO 12312-2 standard rating. NASA has identified a handful of brands who have certified that their glasses meet the standards. American Paper Optics is one of these brands, and you can conveniently order them online. There are tons of eclipse glasses being sold but it is critical to follow NASA’s approved list. Our eyes are very important and we don’t want to damage them.
Cameras and telescopes are a no-no. It is not safe to view the solar exclipse through an unfiltered lens like that of a camera or telescope. If you wish to record the phenomenon, set your camera up beside you on a tripod and hit record, and continue viewing through your approved glassses beside it.
Pinhole Projection. An indirect way to view the solar eclipse is through pinhole projection, which you can make yourself. This essentially projects the image of the sun onto a sheet of paper. Don’t look at the sun, but look at the projection, and that is perfectly safe for your eyes.
Here’s another lovely video from NASA showing how this works:
Are you planning to watch the eclipse? Any fun viewing party plans?