With the solar eclipse just around the corner – the first of its kind to pass from coast to coast across the USA in nearly a century – preparation may make the difference between viewing a total or partial eclipse. Read on for helpful tips on how to view the eclipse safely.
What is an eclipse anyway?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth – blocking it either partially or entirely. Not all eclipses are the same, and the total solar eclipse happening this August is more of a rarity.
Why all the fuss?
This will be the first total solar eclipse to pass from coast to coast of the USA in nearly a century, with the last happening on June 8, 1918!
When does it start and how long will it last?
The eclipse will begin its journey in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, crossing over the coast of Oregon around 9:00 AM pacific standard time, completing its journey around 1:00 PM pacific standard time.
Not sure where you should be during those times? There is a pretty helpful map of the eclipse path available here.
How can I watch the eclipse?
Get outside…but not without proper safety measures! It is important to get a pair of solar filter sunglasses that are certified to provide ample protection, or you will be at risk for causing irreparable damage to your eyes. Standard polarized sunglasses will not provide sufficient protection.
Once the sun is completely covered, those in the path of totality will be able to remove solar filter glasses to view the eclipse directly. However, it is important to keep in mind that the total eclipse will not last long, so have your glasses handy.
Where can I get the proper eye wear?
NASA and the American Astronomical Society have released a list of manufacturers who make eye wear that will protect you during the eclipse. That list can be found here.
While stores and retailers, such as Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s, are also selling solar filter sunglasses designed for viewing the eclipse, it is suggested to remain wary of purchasing glasses on Amazon, as not all manufacturers are selling products that are up to code.
For more information on viewing the total solar eclipse, including links to live streams (in case you won’t be able to see it in-person), visit the NASA website.
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