In 3 days the first total solar eclipse in the continental US since 1979 will be upon us. This will be for most people living in the US a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now, most of us don’t know what to expect or what we are going to see during the eclipse and perhaps you are not sure of why this is happening.
For that I have this:
The next thing you may be wondering is, where are you going to be able to see the eclipse? am I in the path of totality? and for that, I found a really good tool that I will share with you. Here.
Tips for viewing the eclipse.
Traveling: If you are traveling into the path of totality, check the weather first. The eclipse will only last at most 2 minutes and 29 seconds, so checking the weather is definitely a good idea.
The Weather Channel (for standard weather reporting)
Clearsky.com (for more detailed and useful information about visibility)
Clear Outside (this site has an app and was designed for Astronomy)
PROTECT YOUR EYES!: This is critical. Be sure to only use approved solar filters, whether you are viewing with the naked-eye or with a telescope/binoculars.
If you must absolutely look at it with your own eyes. Please don’t. Unless you have purchased, acquired, stolen, borrowed, or found lying around some solar eclipse glasses. Staring at the sun and it causing retinal damage is NOT a myth.
Here is what I got:
The glasses are really dark. You cannot see ANYTHING when you are wearing them. I recommend just putting them on right before you are going to look up at the eclipse.
Quick Review on the Celestron observing kit:
The glasses are plastic and fit really well. They wrap around my eyes and do not allow any light whatsoever in. This kit also brings an extra pair of paper glasses, which is ok but can get damaged easily and fall off. I definitely will trust the plastic ones with my 4 year old’s eyes. Just to make sure they don’t accidentally fall off while she is looking.
This kit also brings a really nice map showing the path and how much of it will be visible in its path and finally it brought an observing guide containing really good information, tips and even a table/chart with start time-end time- and magnitudes by location.
As for the camera filter. We will see. I haven’t used it yet. After the eclipse, my next post will be about my experience photographing the eclipse.
If you want to make a pinhole box for viewing the eclipse indirectly here is a link to NASA’s website that has downloadable projects.