Coming this Monday, August 21st, there will be a memorable event. From coast to coast Americans will be treated to a rare total eclipse of the sun. This means the moon will pass between the sun and Earth and will block all or part of the sun. This is a once in a lifetime experience! (The last solar eclipse was in 1979 and the next one won’t come again till 2024) Just an FYI for all of you planning on watching the eclipse, the longest period that the moon will block the sun will depend on where you are in the United States. But the longest period will be anywhere between 40 seconds and 2 minutes. I am so pumped to watch this eclipse with my kids. We will be watching from the beach in south florida. It is projected that we will experience locally an eclipse of 80% between the hours of 1:30pm – 4:30pm. Our peak (time when the most amount of sun will be covered) will be just before 3pm. For more research on when your local peak will happen, check out TIMEDATE.COM . You can search your local peak times and eclipse visibility.
Everyone in North America will be able to catch a glimpse of this eclipse whether its partial or full. YOU CANNOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN! This fact is multiplied during an eclipse because of the concentrated UV rays. You CAN watch the eclipse directly as long as you are wearing special eclipse viewing glasses. You may purchase special viewing glasses online at Amazon.com or try any of these stores: 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Bi-Mart, Casey’s General Store, Circle K, Hobby Town, Kirklands, Kroger, London Drugs, Love’s Travel Shops, Lowe’s, Pilot/Flying J, Toys “R” Us and Walmart. Tip: you may want to call ahead of time and ask if they have any eclipse viewing glasses in stock.
If your local stores are all sold out, try contacting your local Library and/or Planetarium. NASA is sponsoring Library events all over the country. They have donated more than 2 million free eclipse glasses and 4,000 education kits to be distributed at over 7,000 library locations on August 21st.
Click the link HERE to see the Libraries that are sponsored and participating.
Maybe you are planning to stay home and watch the solar eclipse from the comfort of your backyard. You can watch it through your viewing glasses (always check they are up to ISO 12312-2 safety standards to avoid eye damage) or you can make a simple viewer out of any cardboard box (shoe box, cereal box, etc.) Here’s how to make a Simple Eclipse Viewer…
You will need:
- Cardboard box
- Duct tape
- Scissors or box cutter
- Aluminum foil
Start out with an empty cardboard box. Tape up all the edges of the box to make sure that no light can enter. At the top of the box make two holes about an inch or two in diameter. Leave the hole on the right open. Cover the left hole with a small piece of aluminum foil. Center the aluminum foil over the hole on the left and tape down the edges. In the center of the aluminum foil, poke a pin sized hole.
When you look into the hole on the right, try to cover the hole completely with your face. Point the edge/left side of the box directly towards the sun. Inside the box, you will see a “projection” of the sun. You will be able to safety experience the eclipse without looking directly at the sun. This is a great option for the kids if you are worried about them keeping the glasses on or damaging their eyes.
For more information on viewing the eclipse safely, see NASA’s page at eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
Join me on Instagram this Monday @meg.for.it. I will be sharing my “Instastory” about preparing for the eclipse, building viewers with my kids and the eclipse itself.
You can find me chasing the sun!