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So What’s So Special About this Eclipse on August 21?

As of the writing of this blog, we’re 26 days away from the eclipse. So why is everyone making such a big deal about this particular one?

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.

Now it seems that most of the time we have to be up in the wee hours of the night or early morning to witness an eclipse but this one is different. The time frame for viewing the totality in our area will be at approximately 1:13 p.m.

Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (totality), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers.

Many area businesses are offering the eclipse glasses and of course you can order them online from various sites.

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.

Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter. Always supervise children using solar filters.

Dramatic scientific background - full sun eclipse in dark red sky
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