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!