Acadiana schools prepare for solar eclipse

Pauline Gross
August 19, 2017

The event is free and open to the public. In a partial solar eclipse, the sun is covered partially, while the whole sun is covered in a total solar eclipse.

As the eclipse approaches totality, shadows will look sharper and winds will dissipate - much like what happens on a typical evening around sunset.

The good news is that we are NOT predicting widespread, thick cloud cover to obstruct the sky completely. Because the moon's orbit around Earth is elliptical, sometimes the moon can appear smaller than the sun and we see an "annular" eclipse. There is no part of the partial eclipse that is safe to view with the naked eye.

Lunar eclipses usually last a few hours, and we have the opportunity to see at least two partial lunar eclipses every year.

If you're lucky enough to be at or traveling to a total eclipse location, be warned that some towns are projecting that their supermarkets will run out of food and even gas stations will run out of gas.

Create a pinhole projection to safely watch the solar eclipse. Credit American Astronomical Society
Create a pinhole projection to safely watch the solar eclipse. Credit American Astronomical Society

According to NASA, to see a total eclipse you must be in the path of totality, a thin ribbon approximately 70 miles wide.

-Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses. Don't remove it while looking at the sun.

If you are going to view the eclipse (and I suggest you do so) you NEVER want to look directly at the sun because you can damage your eyes permanently.

The Paseo Verde Library in Henderson is holding an Eclipse Party of Preschoolers on Monday at 10:00 a.m. and employees will be giving out eclipse glasses to families.

"The only safe way is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or hand-held solar viewers that meet ISO 12312-2 global standards". The bar will have a solar eclipse-themed cocktail named the Solar Negroni for you to sip on as you watch the eclipse. You should seek expert advice from a qualified astronomer before using any optical device for this objective.

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This eclipse is generating a lot of interest in Marshall, and the Library Director thinks she knows why. The event will also feature a photo booth, music, crafts and educational activities for children.

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