The clock counts down to the most anticipated cosmic event in 38 years. The solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 starts in the Lincoln Beach, Oregon area at 9:05am and will make its way across the United States in a diagonal direction toward Charleston, NC where it hits at 2:48pm. You can find out the best time to watch the elipse by putting in your zip code here.
The last time this full eclipse happened, the seat to score would have been onboard the supersonic Concorde jet which for those lucky enough to get a ticket, created an extended 74 minute long eclipse as it chased the moon and sun’s dance.
In 2017, the choice seat up high is on either of NASA’s two jets traveling at 50,000 feet. The NASA scientists will be taking a closer look at the planet Mercury which can be seen uniquely during an eclipse.
For the rest of us earthlings here are some amazing ways to interact, embrace this celebrated cosmic event.
BEST SOLAR ECLIPSE APPS
1) GLOBE APP Send your eclipse observations to NASA and be part of history.
2) iNATURALIST APP – Scientist know that spiders will undo their webs during an eclipse and they want to know more about animal and insect behavior. Share any unusual animal behavior with scientists on this app.
3) The Sky Guide APP – View Stars Night or Day app by Fifth Star Labs — which received an average of five stars from 5,913 ratings — might make stargazing into a regular activity for you, if it isn’t already. The app identifies constellations, planets, and other space objects as you hold your phone to the sky. A new update to one of the best star gazing apps yet with 5 star ratings from 7,945 people so far. Track the path of the eclipse. $2.99 and there;’s an version for Apple Watch too.
Some poorly made solar eclipse glasses have made into several thousand hands. The way to know you have a good pair is to look for the ISO logo and the printed phrase “ISO 12312-2” certification. Good solar glasses will block 99.9% of damaging rays.
WHAT TO DO IF CLOUDS BLOCK YOUR VIEW
One of the best views on a screen will be from the Citizen Cate Experiment. They are linking multiple telescopes together to create a 90 minute show stopper.
IF YOU ARE TOO LATE FOR PROTECTIVE GLASSES
NASA scientists say use a colander by looking at the ground. Hold the colander up to the sun and only look at the images of the eclipse shaded on the ground that come through the tiny holes. Never look directly at the eclipse without certified protective gear as it could cause permanent eye damage or even blindness.
DO IT YOURSELF SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWER
NASA SAYS USE A KITCHEN COLANDER
According to NASA, however, any object with tiny holes can provide a safe way to watch the eclipse, including a colander or a piece of card stock with a hole. Hold the object over the ground or a piece of paper, and look at the projected shadow to create your own simple eclipse viewer. Note that you should look at the shadow of the object on the ground or paper; do not look at the sun through the object.
LUNT SOLAR 8X32 SUNOCOLAR BINOCULARS
Allows for Safe Solar Viewing CE-Certified Objective-Lens Filters Optical Density: 5 100% UV and IR Filtration $129
CELESTRON 127EQ POWERSEEKER TELESCOPE (MUST USE FILTER FOR SOLAR ECLIPSE)