Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Great American Solar Eclipse!!!!

The Great American Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017. 
Mark your calendars!

I am fascinated by the subject of star gazing and solar and lunar cycles. And am beyond excited about the total solar eclipse coming up in August! I have been looking forward to this event for the past two years!

I have read several articles about the event. There are some good articles about how to plan for watching the eclipse. One of my favorites is this article about the top ten solar eclipse viewing destinations.

August 21, 2017 there will be a 70 mile wide swath that cuts across the Continental United States beginning in Oregon and going all the way down to South Carolina. That 70 mile wide swath is the path of totality where you will be able to see the total solar eclipse. Several hundred miles outside the path of totality you will at least be able to view a partial eclipse.

 In the center of the path of totality the total solar eclipse will last for around 2 minutes. That is the part of the eclipse that the sun is completely blocked my the moon.  It will take some time for the whole event to complete. The entire eclipse will take around 2 hours from the time the moon first begins to cross in front of the sun to the moment the moon's path has reached the​ other side of the sun. The 'total' eclipse will occur as the moon is halfway through crossing in front of the sun and it completely blocks the sun from view.

I am planning to travel to a location on the path of totality, but for those who can't make the trip the exciting news is that, you will be able to see a partial eclipse from almost everywhere on the North American continent!! Of course, only if weather permits. That is the tricky part. You can be along the path of totality, but if it is a cloudy day you won't be seeing any eclipse.

You also need to have some solar eclipse viewing glasses. Please don't look at the sun without proper eye protection! You can use a welder's helmet or welding goggles as long as they are number 14 or higher. The cheap welding goggles from Harbor Freight are only a number 10. :( I was hoping they would work, but I am glad I checked. I ordered some paper frame solar veiwing glasses on eBay. I actually ordered several extra and am hoping to turn a profit on them at the time of the eclipse. I had imagined that there will be throngs of unprepared people outside on August 21st wanting to experience such a phenomenal event. I have been disappointed, though, by people's lack of enthusiasm. I have asked friends what their plans are for the eclipse, and then I have to explain the whole thing because they didn't know there was going to be an eclipse. It makes me feel like a space nerd, which is funny because, while I do find these things facinating, I don't really know much about stars and outer space. :)

.....So, I may have a bunch of solar eclipse viewing glasses on hand even after the eclipse.

I am doing my part to spread the word about the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017. :) I hope you can make plans to see it!

Psalms 19:1 KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

By the way, "Happy Summer Solstice!"
Today is the official beginning of summer. The amount of hours of sunlight will be greater than any other day of the year. It is the longest day! After this the days begin to gradually get shorter. Let's not think about that it is too sad. :'(  :)

1 comment:

Haley Smith said...

I, too, am excited about it but probably won't get to drive to an area where I'll get to view it in totality :(