How to Keep Your Eyes Safe During the Solar Eclipse — Forget Sunglasses

Solar eclipse glasses that will be handed out by the community are

Solar eclipse glasses that will be handed out by the community are

Solar eclipse watchers from OR to Idaho will likely have the best view of the August 21 event along the path of totality, based on a map created using NASA Earth satellite data.

That is largely because this year's spectacle will be the first in 99 years to span the entire continental United States - the world's third most populous nation - across a 70-mile-wide (113-km) path over 14 states, from the Pacific coast of OR to the Atlantic shore of SC. That will occur only along a narrow strip stretching from OR, through the Midwestern plains, down to SC.

In Rhode Island, we'll only get to see a partial eclipse. It's pretty much three hours beginning to end as the moon passes across the sun and casts its shadow on Earth.

The solar eclipse is just a few days away, and while the extraordinary event can bring shock and awe it can also leave you with a lifetime of regret.

How to Keep Your Eyes Safe During the Solar Eclipse — Forget Sunglasses
How to Keep Your Eyes Safe During the Solar Eclipse — Forget Sunglasses

What can happen when you look directly at the sun? "Normally if you look directly at the sun, the natural response is to squint, shield your eyes, blink or turn away".

Wilson said amateurs could time the eclipse's phases; photograph the corona and measure its spectrum; observe its effect on magnetic and wireless instruments; observe the shadow bands created; and even take "moving pictures" of the celestial event, among other suggestions. But at the time, measuring the eclipse shadow's movement across the Earth was a key opportunity to pinpoint the moon's size, shape and orbital path. David Baron, science reporter and author of "American Eclipse", said.

If it is clear, the New Moon Solar Eclipse celebration will continue with a dark sky tour at the Mill of Kintail.

Astronomical society members will set up telescopes with protective solar filters and will have projectors available so people can see the eclipse up close, the news release said.

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Penn Dixie will host a viewing of the eclipse from 1 to 4 p.m. August 21, and visitors will be able to view the eclipse through several telescopes, learn astronomy from the staff and volunteers, participate in hands-on science activities and collect fossils. So for those cities - and anywhere else with a partial eclipse - you need to keep those solar specs on the whole time.

So it's important to know exactly where you are on eclipse day in relation to that path of totality, advises Dr. B. Ralph Chou, a retired professor of optometry at the University of Waterloo in Ontario who is also an astronomer and eclipse chaser. In fact, we've known about this eclipse, and it's been on all of our calendars for decades now. Illinois State Police anticipate many people will hit the roads to see the eclipse in its totality.

Inspect solar filters before use. "For 20 years it's been one of my bucket list items; if something doesn't work, I have seven more years to the next one, right?" Catch the image of the eclipse on another piece of white cardstock held behind the pinhole.

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