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Solar Eclipse 2017

15 August 2017

The U.S. Postal Service has Solar Eclipse stamps. Place a finger on the eclipse and the thermochromic ink changes the image of the eclipsed Sun to the Moon!

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Note NASA’s website for the 2017 solar eclipse

The talk has been about the path of totality (a 100% eclipse) locations quite a bit south or north of the path will experience substantial eclipses—Fort Lauderdale FL will experience an 80% eclipse though hundreds of miles away, by way of example. This map can help make plans for witnessing this spectacular event on August 21st.

NASA’s map of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

NASA publishes this schedule

From NASA

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From Dr. Charles Stanley (see comment below) we have this sage advice:

 

The solar eclipse will be here next Monday.  The countdown is proceeding apace.  If you are near the center of totality, you will have approximately two and a half minutes of total eclipse. The time becomes shorter the closer you are to the edge of the zone of totality. 

I have seen partial eclipses before, but never a total eclipse. This is the first one to span the entire USA in 99 years. The last total eclipse to span the entire US from Washington state to Florida was on June 8, 1918.  The path of that one was similar, but not quite identical, to the one which will take place next Monday.

Xavier Jubiear created one of the best interactive sites on the internet. Xavier’s eclipse site.

Another good site is the Great American Eclipse, also interactive.

If you don’t get to see this one, there will be another that crosses from Mexico up through Maine on April 8, 2024. 

After that, the eclipse of August 12, 2045 will start over northern California, passing across the southern states and Florida.  That track will be similar to the one next Monday, but a couple of hundred miles south of Monday’s track.

If you are extremely young and have good health, you may get to see the last US eclipse of the 21st Century on September 14, 2099.

If you do not have special eclipse glasses yet, you may be out of luck. Lowe’s had a shipment in the other day, and the rather large display was gone in one day. You should use only NASA and American Astronomical Society approved vision protection. Smoking a piece of glass or using welder’s goggles is a bad idea. However, although arc welding glass rated at #14 or higher is a minimum requirement if you do decide to use welders goggles or mask.  Any welder’s filter glass rated less than #14 is totally unacceptable for viewing the sun.

NASA has has a list of approved eye protection equipment, as well as some instructions for viewing safely.  These are not so much suggestions as warnings.  NASA page on eye safety at this link.  

There used to be a caveat that eye protection should carry the label showing that it meets the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard; however, counterfeits are on the market through questionable vendors, so the label is not always to be trusted.  For a list of American Astronomical Society approved eye wear brands and reputable vendors, this page by the American Astronomical Society may be helpful.

For the sake of all that’s holy, NEVER look at the sun with your SLR camera, binoculars, or telescope. You will burn a hole completely through the back of your eye. That is not something that will grow back. You will be blinded permanently.  

Some of the telescope makers sell filters for the objective lens.  Use a filter that fits your device. The AAS has recommendations and instructions for using optical devices when viewing the sun at this link.  

As Sgt. Esterhaus used to say on the Hill Street Blues cop show, “Be careful out there.”

Dr. Billy Hix of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network gives some great instructions for the safest way to see any sun event. Indirect viewing is recommended if you are unsure about the safety of your filters. This cannot be emphasized enough.

This is the third of three excellent videos by Dr. Hix, but is the one which explains how to make an indirect viewing device.

If you are interested in seeing the other videos in this series, here are the links:

Solar Eclipse Video 1-What to Expect & Direct Solar Viewing  

Solar Eclipse Video 2-Direct Viewing with Optical Equipment

Solar Eclipse Video 3 – Indirect Viewing Tips

If you plan to view the eclipse, I suggest most strongly that you watch all three of Dr. Hix’s videos.

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From NASA: How to make and use a pinhole camera-like device to view the eclipse

From NASA: another way to view the eclipse safely

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 15 August 2017 20:14

    If people do not have special eclipse glasses yet, you may be out of luck. Lowe’s had a shipment in the other day, and the rather large display was gone in one day. You should use only NASA approved vision protection. Smoking a piece of glass or using welder’s goggles is not a bad idea. However, although arc welding glass rated at #14 or higher is a minimum requirement. Any glass filter rated less than #14 is totally unacceptable for viewing the sun.

    NASA has has a list of approved eye protection equipment, as well as some instructions for viewing safely. These are not so much suggestions as warnings. NASA page on eye safety at this link: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

    There used to be a caveat that eye protection should carry the label showing that it meets the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. However, counterfeits are on the market through questionable vendors, so the label is not always to be trusted. For a list of AAS approved eyewear brands and reputable vendors, this page by the American Astronomical Society may be helpful: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification

    For the sake of all that’s holy, NEVER look at the sun with your SLR camera, binoculars, or telescope. You will burn a hole completely through the back of your eye. That is not something that will grow back. You will be blinded permanently.

    Some of the telescope makers sell filters for the objective lens. Use a filter that fits your device. The AAS has recommendations and instructions for using optical devices when viewing the sun: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/optics-filters

    As Sgt. Esterhaus used to say on the Hill Street Blues cop show, “Be careful out there.”

    Dr. Billy Hix of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network gives some great instructions for the safest way to see any sun event. Indirect viewing is recommended if you are unsure about the safety of your filters. This cannot be emphasized enough.

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