Taking a Trip to See the Solar Eclipse? Pack Your Solar Glasses!

How to safely view a solar eclipse

Do you have a pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses yet? You’ll want to purchase a pair or two soon because there will be a total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017.

This solar eclipse is particularly rare for several reasons, according to a Space.com article by Mike Wall, “Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely).” In this article, Wall interviews eclipse expert and astronomer, Jay Pasachoff, of Williams College in Massachusetts.

One of the reasons this is such a rare event, said Pasachoff, is that it will be the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible on both coasts. It is also a unique because it has been 4 decades since a solar eclipse has been directly visible from the United States. Other experts have stated that the last time this occurred within the United States was 1776.

Even though there are 2 to 5 solar eclipses that occur during an average year, these are mostly partial. Total eclipses, however, tend to occur only once every 18 months, stated Wall.

If you’re a skywatcher, you want to be in the “‘path of totality'” in order to experience the total effect, stated Pasachoff. The path of the eclipse will travel from the Oregon coast through these states:

  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

If you live in the above states or close by, you’re probably already making plans to experience this extraordinary event. You may have a few questions about how to stay safe during a solar eclipse. First of all, experts say to never look directly at the sun. Secondly, in order to view this phenomenon, you should be wearing solar eclipse viewing glasses to protect your sight as well as to be able to view this phenomenon in all its splendor.

Whether you’re just fascinated by celestial events, or are an amateur or avid skywatcher, this is going to be a spectacular opportunity. If you don’t live in the states listed above, you may want to schedule a vacation with family and friends during August so that you can experience this total eclipse. While packing your bags, be sure to include eye protection for solar eclipse viewing for everyone in your entourage.

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