Hours away from the Solar Eclipse

Written By:  Betty Devarona August 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm

As we are hours away from the much anticipated Solar Eclipse…here a couple of things to consider:

Protect your eyes

If you’re planning to catch the eclipse — either in totality or even partially — in person, you’ll need a few things to view it safely. Even though an eclipse effectively turns day into night, never look directly at the sun.

Solar eclipses are especially dangerous. Not because of anything special about the light during the eclipse, but because the sudden changes in luminosity can cause retina damage before your eyes have a chance to adapt, or before you have an opportunity to look away.

 A total solar eclipse will cross the United States from coast to coast on Monday, starting just after 10 a.m. local time in Oregon and ending just before 3 p.m. in South Carolina.

• The last time an eclipse traveled across the entire country was in 1918.

Few eclipses have had more impact on modern history than the one that occurred on May 29, 1919, more than six minutes of darkness sweeping across South America and across the Atlantic to Africa. It was during that eclipse that the British astronomer Arthur Eddington ascertained that the light rays from distant stars had been wrenched off their paths by the gravitational field of the sun.

That affirmed the prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, ascribing gravity to a warp in the geometry of space-time, that gravity could bend light beams. “Lights All Askew in the Heavens,” read a headline in this newspaper.
• Veteran eclipse chasers say you should prepare to feel changed forever if this is your first total eclipse.

 

• Weather forecasts suggested that states like Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming would have favorable skies, while Nebraska and South Carolina faced the prospect of clouds and storms. Heavy traffic manifested in some locations on Monday.  The eclipse’s largest point of duration is near a small town called Makanda, Ill., population 600.
• Scientists are hoping their studies of this eclipse will lead to important discoveries about the sun’s mysterious corona, which burns more than a million degrees hotter than the sun’s surface.