A total solar eclipse is when we have a perfect alignment of the moon against the surface of the sun at the same diameter. That's what creates the total solar eclipse and that lets you see that beautiful corona around. On Aug. 21 we'll have the chance to see a one go from coast to coast. It starts in Oregon and tracks all the way across the country to South Carolina. How can you be prepared to see it this year? Donna Ruko and Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory’s Claude Haynes have three fun tips to get you ready for this magical experience.
1. What to Expect
You can be outside of the solar eclipse path to see part of the eclipse, but for you to see the moon totally cover the surface of the sun you need to be within that eclipse path. It will get a lot cooler because you don't have the sun beating down on you, it's been blocked by the moon. It will get dark, like twilight, not totally dark, but you will be able to look into the sky and see really bright stars in the sky that are blocked out by normally by the sun's light. Often times there are wind currents that come with that cooling, when the sun disappears.
2. Be Prepared
You have to use some special equipment. The first one is a set of solar glasses which may look like you're watching a 1950s 3D movie, but it blocks out 99.9 percent of the sun. These are not normal sunglasses. There are some myths about using old photographic film or you can use CDs that will block the light, but those can harm your eyes. You can order inexpensive certified eyewear online, take part in fest ivies at local observatories, or even better, hit the road. It's a rare kind of event and if you have the ability to travel to the center line, but you need to hurry because a lot of reservations have been taken and you may have trouble finding a place to stay.
Even if you have to stay home you can still celebrate by throwing your own party. Send out invites using the new heat activated us postage stamps and make some drinks. Pass the time playing a little game of pin the moon on the sun with your blinged out specks.
Share your total solar eclipse pictures with us on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.