Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Eclipse


On Monday, the continental United States--as well as parts of Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America--will be treated to a partial solar eclipse. Those who live within the thin path of totality will see a total solar eclipse.

While total solar eclipses occur quite frequently (every 1-3 years) they are often in uninhabited areas of the world.

Here in Nashville, we are within the path of totality and are looking forward to the celestial show. We have been warned that our city will receive an influx of tourists, so we plan to just watch from home. (Flight prices to Nashville have increased by as much as 10 times on the days surrounding the eclipse!)

For those of you planning to watch the eclipse, I would love to hear what your plans are.

Be sure that your eclipse glasses are undamaged and unscratched. They also must be stamped to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. The market is filled with counterfeit glasses that wrongly claim to have that verification, so you'll want to read this article from NASA to make sure your glasses are manufactured by a legitimate organization.

Happy eclipsing!

17 comments:

  1. Anonymous8/19/2017

    I was an astronomy major in college and am still a backyard astronomer, so you know I'll be watching. I'm not traveling to totality, but I'll be close enough to the path.

    For viewing with the public, I like to use #14 welder's glass. But you have to use #14, not 12 or lower. And there's not a supplier anywhere right now that has it, not that I know of. I've been trying to get more since June!

    One thing to remember, and it's hard to remember, even for me: If you have your glasses on, or are looking thru welder's glass, YOU MUST TURN AWAY FROM THE SUN BEFORE REMOVING THE GLASSES (OR GLASS) FROM YOUR FACE!

    I can't emphasize that enough. Your pupils will be quite dilated when you have the darkening devices in front of them. If you are still looking at the sun when you take them off, you get ALL that light into dilated pupils. NOT GOOD!!

    So get in the habit of TURNING YOUR BACK TO THE SUN before removing the glasses, and remind others around you to do that, too (especially children). It's hard to remember when you're so excited about the eclipse, and not used to looking at the sun!

    A homemade "pinhole" projection system (Google it) is safe to use without glasses, as you will be looking down instead of up at the sun. Right now, with glasses sold out, it may be the best last-minute "live" viewing system there is, other than watching online.

    All this fuss about a 2-minute shadow! LOL

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  2. Anonymous8/19/2017

    Thank you, Ellie, for posting the NASA site.

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  3. Alicia Mae8/19/2017

    How fun that you're in the path of totality! I'll be watching from an area where it will appear as a partial eclipse.

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  4. Anonymous8/19/2017

    Does anyone know what time the Eclipse is at.

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    1. Anonymous8/19/2017

      It depends on your location and time zone. If you look at your local TV station or newspaper websites, there should be information for you there. The shadow moves from northwest US to southeast US, racing across the country in that direction. Oregon first, South Carolina last. Eclipse "times" are usually given as beginning (first contact), peak or max, and last contact. There should be about a 3-hour span in there. It takes awhile for the moon to get into position to make the shadow on the Earth, then cover the sun (as much as it will at your location), and then move on again. This is a daytime eclipse, not a sunrise or sunset one.

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    2. Anonymous8/20/2017

      I live in the Moline IL. Except it's suppose to be cloudy here so probably won't see anything.

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    3. Anonymous8/20/2017

      You can find a place online that will be streaming it live. And some TV stations are going to break into programming for coverage. I thought I heard that CBS or NBC was going to do that, or maybe both networks? So ABC might, too? "Check your local listings."

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  5. Anonymous8/19/2017

    I happened to catch the 700 Club saying that the eclipse was "proof" that God created the Earth-Moon-Sun system to be perfectly lined up, giving us these total eclipses. Not so. When the Moon first formed (from a collision with our planet by another planet-sized body), it was 15 times closer to the Earth than it is now That would have given you eclipses all the time as that big body orbited and blocked out everything "behind" it.

    The Moon's orbit is getting larger every year by about an inch and a half, due to gravitational forces. Doesn't sound like much, but it is measurable and it does add up. There will come a time in the future when eclipses won't look like the one you'll see Monday. The Moon will be further away from the Earth, making it smaller in appearance, and less able to visually cover the Sun.

    So sorry 700 Club, you just happen to be living in the time when the Moon is at the right distance from the Earth. It wasn't before, and it won't be later. If this was God's plan for perfect eclipses, it's back to the drawing board to figure out how to stop that pesky Moon from slipping further away from us, which it's definitely doing.

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  6. Anonymous8/19/2017

    Hoping to see it! So everyone in the U.S will be able to see at lest some of it right?

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    1. Anonymous8/20/2017

      Yes, and even Canada and Mexico will see a good partial eclipse, too. Northern Maine - 50% Southern Florida - 75% South Texas - 60% Southern California - 65% But a swath from Northern California to Oregon, and Jacksonville FL to the Chesapeake Bay will see anywhere between 90% and 100%. One of the best chances for the entire country to see something (weather willing) in awhile. Thank you, Moon!

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    2. Anonymous8/20/2017

      Thanks!!

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  7. We're in Georgetown, S.C., in the path of totality as well. Tourists are pouring in, the few hotels we have are booked solid and private homeowners are charging in the thousands for their spare rooms. It's crazy! We've been warned to stay home. Law enforcement will be in full force. We're just enjoying the day at home.

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    1. Anonymous8/20/2017

      Wow thats crazy!! Suddenly glad Im not in the full range! :-) LOL

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    2. Anonymous8/20/2017

      We've been warned that distracted drivers are going to be looking up, stopping, or pulling over suddenly to get a glimpse. Even 911 is worried that the roads will be more clogged than usual if they need to get somewhere fast. Stay home!

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  8. Anonymous8/20/2017

    I will probably sleep through it since I have a cold and not feeling that great.

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    1. Anonymous8/20/2017

      aw! Hope you feel better!!

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    2. Anonymous8/21/2017

      Thank you

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