It’s been in the news and all over social media as of late and we’re only 30 days away from a somewhat rare treat from the heavens – a total solar eclipse! Depending on your location, you may or may not see a true total eclipse however, much of the country will see 75% the sun blocked by the moon or better. The eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017.
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the earth, blocking all or part of the sun for a few hours. While an eclipse isn’t truly rare, consider that the last time the United States saw a total solar eclipse was in 1979.
Who Can See It?
NASA has a great interactive map, available by clicking here, that shows the track of the eclipse and you can click anywhere on the map and get information about the eclipse for that location. Several states will see a total solar eclipse, including many parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.
When Can I See It?
The eclipse will vary by your location of course, with the eclipse starting near Lincoln Beach, Oregon around 9:05 am PDT. The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina around 2:48 pm EDT. If you’re looking to experiencing totality at its longest, you’ll need to head to Carbondale, Illinois, where totality (the point at which the moon moves directly in front of the sun, essentially blocking it) will last roughly 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
What About Here in Ohio?
The eclipse will generally begin around 1 PM EDT, with the maximum eclipse around 2:30 pm EDT. The end of the eclipse will be at 3:51 pm. We’ll see a partial eclipse however, much of the sun will be blocked. Those in Ashtabula county will see roughly 75% of the sun blocked, Cleveland about 80%, Columbus 85%, and Cincinnati 91%. Times will vary by a few minutes depending on your location.
How Can I See It?
First, NEVER look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse. This may cause serious damage to your eyes. You can use special eclipse sunglasses or create a sun funnel and attach that to a telescope. If you own a telescope, chances are you can buy a special lens to attach to the telescope to help view the eclipse, which would be projected through the eye hole onto a piece of paper (don’t look into the telescope!).
If you’re interested in eclipse sunglasses, a quick search on Amazon netted several results and are relatively cheap. Click here to see the vast selection!
Here’s some viewing tips from NASA:
Share Your Experiences With Us!
We would love to hear your experience with the eclipse and any pictures you are safely able to take! You can post those to our Facebook page or on Twitter! We’ll make sure to remind you about the eclipse as we get closer to August 21st!
For More Information: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how
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