On Aug. 21 a total solar eclipse — meaning the moon will block out the sun — will be visible across a strip of North America.
Sadly, where I live we are a too far north to be included in the area that will be plunged into total darkness, but the astronomical event will still be visible from here. Daylight will dim slightly for about two hours, from 10:24 a.m. to 12:48 p.m.
The eclipse will track across North America on Aug. 21, moving from west to east. It will be visible as a full solar eclipse in parts of the U.S., but part of the sun will remain visible in Canada throughout the day. Victoria is expected to see the most coverage, while Iqaluit will see the least.
The eclipse will reach its maximum point in the late morning on the West Coast, between noon and 1 p.m. in the Prairies, around 2:30 p.m. in Ontario and Quebec and shortly before 4 p.m. on the East Coast (all times local).
If you only do one thing to prepare for the eclipse, it should be getting eclipse glasses. Regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes and we all know that starring directly at the sun is not good for eyes. It can actually burn your eyes. Ouch !
The safest way Sky-watchers should look a the eclipse is through ISO-approved shades that meet the ISO 12312-2 or ISO 12312-2:2015 international safety standard. This means they reduce visible sunlight to a comfortable level while also protecting the eyes against infrared and ultraviolent light.
For an approved list of venders click here.
If you have an old welder’s helmet around the house and are thinking of using it to view the Sun, make sure you know the filter’s shade number. If it’s less than 12 (and it probably is), don’t even think about using it to look at the Sun. Many people find the Sun too bright even in a Shade 12 filter, and some find the Sun too dim in a Shade 14 filter — but Shade 13 filters are uncommon and can be hard to find.
Below is a list of free and simple total solar eclipse activities & resources for your kids to teach a little astronomy!
Where will you be during the total solar eclipse of 2017?
Any special plans for the eclipse? I think it would make the setting of an unforgettable picnic!
Autumn R Reo says
I want to make this event a learning opportunity for the kids but I haven’t planned anything yet. Thanks for doing the homework so it’s easier for me!
I really wish I had something really cool planned but I will be home working. The kids however are excited because their school gave them the day off.
We’ll be treated to a partial eclipse where I live and I’m pretty excited. I’ll be watching the clock and have my phone ready!
Kim @ Two Kids and a Coupon says
Some great tips! We’ve got our glasses (they’re in short supply now from what I hear!) and are ready to watch.
My daughter’s school is having an eclipse party, and she is quite excited to attend. She likes science and history, so she likes knowing that this is a rare event! It will definitely be strange, and there are already warning signs on the road here to expect heavy traffic during the eclipse time.
Laurie Floyd says
In Florida we are not in the direct path and I plan to live stream to watch it to be on the safe side!
Jacqui S says
My son, his girlfriend and I are actually taking a road trip from PA to Nashville so we can be in the path of totality! I am super excited as it is one of the items on my bucket list that I want to experience! If you choose to, go to my blog and check out my blog post on the eclipse. I won’t leave the link to it directly here :).
I had ordered glasses on Amazon, but Amazon sent me an email that they are crediting my account because they could not get confirmation from the sellers that the glasses were certified. So, I called all around and finally found a Lowes about an hour from me that had glasses. I reached out to the seller, and they responded with the certification, but the only hesitation I had? On the side of the paper, CERTIFICATE was spelled CERTIFACATE… So, while I’m sure the glasses are fine? I’m hesitant. Plus, they didn’t have the name of the company who made the glasses, or the address, which is recommended with NASA’s recommendations.
Monica (NYCTechMommy) says
Thanks so much for sharing this! I’ve been trying to figure out where to get solar eclipse glasses and your approved list of vendor just helped me realize I can get them at a location just a couple of blocks from me. We are gonna be watching the eclipse from our local science museum. They’ll have some glasses on hand but not enough for each person to have their own. Instead of having to share (or running the risk that we won’t get a set to share) I thought we should bring our own. Also these are some fantastic activities shared on your Pinterest Board. We will be choosing a couple. The kids will have lots of fun with these! Thanks again and happy viewing!
Dawn Nieves says
These activities look like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to try some of these with the kids.
This weekend we are hoping to make our glasses out of a box. I wish I bought them months ago, oh well. We’re super excited about this!
Carrie Chance says
I think we are going to be etra safe and watch it streaming on the computer from NASA. If we get time though, there is a printable template for a pinhole viewer on NASAs website that we may do instead
That’s a great idea! We won’t be able to see the eclipse from where we live so we will be watching it on the web.
The plan is to draw the blinds to keep the little ones from looking outside and doing a few crafts to make the day extra special.
We’re totally excited for Monday and are in IL, so a great spot to see it. Unfortunately, I can’t find any of the glasses, all sold out. 🙁
Oh boo! We found some fun DIY Solar eclipse glasses that you can make to watch but the safest way is to watch it on t.v.
Christine Luken says
I am so excited about Monday! My husband and I are both taking the day off from work and going boating with our friends in Indiana. I plan on watching the eclipse floating on the water with my protective glasses on!
Oh that sounds like so much fun! What a great way to enjoy a long weekend.
I am assuming there are going to be a lot of people taking the day off.