District Prepares For Solar Eclipse

Posted August 04, 2017

The only safe ways 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. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the sun. To be on the safe side, the American Astronomical Society suggests choosing equipment from this list of reputable manufacturers. He says that "the difference between a partial solar eclipse and a total is like reading a book vs. reading the title".

In Jefferson City, Missouri, the eclipse starts at 11:46 a.m. CDT and totality begins at 1:13 p.m. CDT, lasting for roughly 2 1/2 minutes.

- Never use homemade filters - such as potato chip bags, smoked glass, exposed film, DVDs or "space blankets" - and don't try viewing through any ordinary sunglasses.

To prevent injury, all observers are advised to wear eye protection in the form of approved eclipse glasses that meet occupational eye and face protection standards (ANSI Z81.1/ISO 12312-2). The path of totality will create a 70-mile wide path from OR to SC, the rest of the country will see various amounts of coverage. The relatively thin path of totality will sweep across portions of 14 US states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and SC. ABC News' Frank Reynolds anchored a special report on the celestial phenomenon at the time and pledged that the network would cover the next total solar eclipse in 2017.

This NASA illustration shows the path of totality (marked by the darker line with the black circles) and the percentage of the eclipse visible in bands radiating from the main line of the moon's shadow.

Numerous organizations, including NASA, will be livestreaming the eclipse online for those of us indoor people. The moon's shadow falls on the earth's surface.

Dr. Randy Fitzgerald of Advanced Vision Care in Burlington says that directly viewing the sun as the moon passes in front of it can be risky.

The result is that the sun and the moon appear to be the same size from our perspective.

This upcoming solar eclipse is going to be one for the record books. Such alignments occur about every six months.

- Parkland College's Staerkel Planetarium said the moon will begin to cover the sun at 11:53 a.m. August 21 in the Champaign County area, and we'll see maximum coverage (93 percent) in this area at 1:20 p.m.