The Eclipse: Watching your children, while you watch the totality

Cesar Mills
August 13, 2017

Two local science organizations are offering help to people wondering how to observe the solar eclipse, which will impact all of the mainland United States on August 21.

While viewing the eclipse, stand still with your eyes closed and cover your them with the glasses BEFORE opening your eyes.

A limited supply of free eclipse glasses are also available from the Brookings Public Library (limit two per family).

Find more than 100 eclipse-related events on our interactive map. The moon will start casting its shadow on earth, blocking view of the sun, at about 1 p.m.

The "path of totality" - which covers regions under complete shadow - varies from one eclipse to the next, and a total solar eclipse has not made landfall over the continental US since 1979.

Visitors to The Children Museum in West Hartford will be able to view the partial solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, through a specially-equipped telescope. The eclipse will end in Great Falls at 12:57 p.m.

The rest of the nation and parts of North and Central America will experience a partial solar eclipse. You will need special eclipse or solar viewers to look at the sun safely.

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Don't try looking at the eclipse with normal sunglasses or home-made filters either. But, if you can get there, the Music City will have several fun events to celebrate. Many did have solar eclipse glasses to sell but they have since sold out. But the eclipse will begin well before it's visible here. The partial solar eclipse (weather permitting) will be at 2:13 p.m. The Bravas and Ragin' Cajun food trucks also will be parked nearby so people can enjoy food while they watch.

"A pair of eclipse glasses is over a thousand times darker than a pair of sunglasses", Jerit said.

Merlo recommends people to use camera and telescope solar filters too as staring straight into the sun through a lens of a camera has potential to permanently damage the eye.

Read and follow all directions that come with your glasses or filters.

The only safe time to look at an eclipse without eye protection is when the moon completely blocks out the sun's rays, which won't happen in MI.

"If you're looking at the sun for any, even short period of time, you get what's called a solar burn inside the eye", said Dr. Adam Black, Owner of Couture Vision. Even when 99 percent of the sun's surface is obscured during the partial phases of an eclipse, the remaining crescent of sun is still intense enough to cause retinal burn.

You should never look at an eclipse with the naked eye, but there are plenty of other unsafe methods to avoid, as well.

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