The solar eclipse will be visible across North America on Monday, August 21st. This will be a memorable event, so it is important to be prepared with the proper tips for viewing. I can’t wait to see it!
Parts of Georgia are in the path of the total eclipse, but not my location. I will be able to see a partial one. NASA and other resource sites have a full listing of what states and more specifically which cities will be in the path of totality. Meaning they will see a total solar eclipse.
Solar Eclipse Data
So why is this eclipse such a big deal? For the first time in nearly 100 years, the viewing path for this eclipse goes from coast to coast in the United States. More than 300 million people in the US could potentially view the total solar eclipse. On Monday a partial eclipse can be viewed in every state, so it is important to view safely.
A total solar eclipse is when the moon completely covers the sun. The moon actually passes between the earth and the sun which blocks the sun for a short period of time. The total eclipse can be viewed in 14 states including: Oregon (starts here around 10 am PT), Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina (ends here around 2:48 pm ET). Those states are in the path of totality. The other states can see a partial eclipse. NASA has a site set up with information on how to view the eclipse, as well as safety tips, which can be found here
Solar Eclipse Safety Tips
You can use eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers, but they must meet safety guidelines to protect your eyes. Criteria include:
Have certification with number ISO 12312-2 international standard. If you don’t see this, you may not be protected.
Have manufacturers name and address printed on them.
Do not use if they are over 3 years old, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.
Do not use homemade filters.
Ordinary sunglasses, even dark tinted ones, should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or solar viewers.
A pin-hole viewer is an alternative. This is where sunlight streams through a small hole, such as a pencil hole, in a piece of paper. It is important to only watch the screen, not the sun. Never look at the sun through a pinhole, it is not safe.
The eclipse viewing glasses are inexpensive and can be found on Amazon or other shops. This video gives some great safety tips. I like the idea of cutting the eclipse viewing glasses and taping one side over your phone camera lens prior to taking a picture. Check out the video for details.
Eclipse Viewing Options
NASA will be broadcasting the eclipse live on August 21st. You can view the live stream here This 4-hour program will include views of the eclipse from coast to coast. It will also have images from the space station, aircraft, and balloons.
NASA app is available for android, apple, fire tv and apple tv. The app provides information on the eclipse as well as beautiful images from NASA. You can find out about the app, social media, youtube links and more here I downloaded the Android app and the images are beautiful.
NASA resource page which answers almost every question on the eclipse can be found here It also has links to events in your area, and tips on how to throw an eclipse party. Maybe Moon Pies, Milky Way bars and a moon made of cheese?
CNN has an interactive map where you can search for your address to see if you are in the path of the eclipse here
Wherever you are in the US, you will have the opportunity to get involved with eclipse watching. Check out the resources listed in this post to make sure you have the proper equipment to view the eclipse safely and remember to have fun. Now I need to go buy some eclipse glasses and Moon Pies!
$3-$15 for eclipse viewing glasses, some come in multi-packs.
Where to buy:
Amazon and some drug stores
Make sure the glasses have a manufacturer name on them and that they are up to the ISO 12312-2 standard to protect your eyes. It is better to buy new ones if you are not sure of your old ones.