Solar eclipse eye safety

Mountain Weather

The narrowness of the umbral shadow on the earth's surface (typically about 100 km) is one reason so few people have seen a total solar eclipse.

When the moon is directly between the sun and the earth, it blocks the sun's bright disk (or photosphere), casting a shadow on the earth. The only safe time to look without safety equipment is during the narrow window when the moon totally covers the sun - if you happen to be on the path where the total eclipse will be visible. "It's not an especially wide path of totality, but it crosses the USA and no other country". Is it any less unsafe on the eyes in areas like Champaign County, where we won't be able to see the total eclipse?

You can join the party on August 21 from 1 to 3 p.m.at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park Environmental Discovery Center, Route 73, for the opportunity to view one of nature's most stunning displays.

Flint astronomy buff Mary Coyne is ready for the big event - wearing her eclipse glasses from Longway Planetarium. Craters of the Moon national monument in Arco, Idaho will have a three-day festival with no limit on attendees, public parking and free solar glasses. While the path of totality is quite small, the eclipse will be visible in part from a much wider area.

So finally, the best thing to do to see the solar eclipse, is purchase some solar glasses, you can find them locally, and enjoy the view. Tennessee Nashville hasn't had a total solar eclipse since July 29, 1478. The planetarium warns that looking at even 7 percent of the sun can cause blindness.

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In Casper, Wyoming, the eclipse starts at 10:22 a.m. MDT and totality begins at 11:42 a.m. MDT, lasting for a little under 2 1/2 minutes.

The only exception to that rule is if you are in what's called the "path of totality", the 70-mile-wide strip that will slice a thin line from OR to SC. All these methods are unsafe for looking at an eclipse.

Make sure the glasses carry this rating: ISO 12312-2. Naturally, the coast is also going to offer up some supremely stunning eclipse views.

According to the American Astronomical Society, just four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17. "It's one of the most remarkable, most spectacular naked-eye phenomenon that you can see".

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