As kids, every one of us would repeatedly hear several of “life’s rules.” Don’t run with scissors in your hand— always wait at least 30 minutes after eating before getting in the pool—don’t talk to strangers—and don’t look directly into the sun! Soon, you’ll be allowed to break one of these rules, and you won’t even get in trouble!
On August 21, 2017, a celestial phenomenon will occur that we earthlings have not seen for 26 years. It’s a total eclipse of the sun, and because of the fact that this is such a rare event, you’d be remiss to not travel to an area that will offer the best show. It is on this date that the people across the United States will have the opportunity to watch the sun disappear behind the moon, which will turn the daylight into twilight. The temperatures will drop rapidly, and streamers of light streaking through the sky will appear around the silhouette of the moon. If you’re in one of the “total” viewing areas, you’ll be able to watch the sun completely disappear behind the moon for 1-2 minutes. It will even get dark enough for the stars and planets to appear.
A solar eclipse happens when the moon blocks any part of the sun. In the case of the upcoming “Great American Eclipse” in August, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina, will get to see the brief show in the sky.
But for an event so spectacular, yet so rare, how can it be watched without ruining your eyes? Here’s a few tips from Nasa, explaining how to safely view the eclipse:
-Looking directly at the sun is not safe, except the brief period when the sun is completely blocked by the moon. This will only happen in the “path of totality.”
-The only safe way to look directly at the sun is to use special-purpose solar filtering glasses, known as “eclipse glasses,” or special hand-held solar viewers.
-Do not attempt to use homemade devices to gaze into the sun … it isn’t safe.
-The glasses and handheld eclipse viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products are Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17. The glasses are available online.
-If your eclipse viewing glasses become scratched or damaged, discard them.
-Always supervise children that are using the eclipse glasses.
-Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking towards the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter, but not until you are no longer looking towards the sun.
-Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.
If you are in the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. You will experience totality for 1-2 minutes (depending on your location), then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.
There is nothing more spectacular than a cosmos show offered by Mother Nature. What a great way to educate your kids while making family memories. One of the best ways to enhance the experience is to do enjoy it in a rental RV from Cruise America.
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