Solar Eclipse Offers Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

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The total blackout period is expected to last for a few minutes along the 73-mile wide "path of totality" that will run diagonally across the US. Here are some frequently asked questions about the upcoming phenomena.

"[Eclipses] don't come across the USA very often".

On Monday, it goes from OR to SC. Off in the northwest, the sky will appear dramatically darker in the final seconds before totality as the moon's shadow comes racing in your direction at more than 1,000 miles per hour.

It will get darker outside, but not completely dark.

An annular eclipse, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a near-total eclipse in which the moon's elliptical orbit takes it slightly farther away from Earth.

On either side of that band most of the rest of the country will see a decent partial eclipse.

Of course, looking directly into an eclipse with the naked eye no matter where you are, except at totality, which lasts about a minute, can be harmful to the eyes, according to NASA, unless you are wearing specially made "eclipse" glasses or using filters, both of which are being sold through various vendors. Also, make a point of ensuring that the glasses you grab are verified by an accredited testing laboratory and that they meet the ISO 12312-2 global safety standard; ask the vendor or check the product itself.

The CSN Planetarium will also be offering a free solar eclipse viewing party from 9 a.m.to 12 p.m. on August 21.

Personally, I'm not all that interested in photographing the eclipse.

According to surviving records, efforts were already underway more than 4,000 years ago. Call your local stores to check if there are any left in stock.

Researchers will be able to test their simulations against recordings of the actual eclipse and corona, and use the analysis to improve their understanding of the relationship between the sun's rotation, magnetic fields and corona. The Smoot Library purchased its solar eclipse glasses from a reputable dealer.

However, no need to fear as there is still time to not only find glasses but to also make a do-it-yourself viewer. And then you'll want to look at a reflection of the sun on a vehicle hood or something outside.

All of North America will get at least a partial eclipse. I let the Sun shine over my shoulder through the pinhole projecting a small image onto the other sheet.

There will also be good partial eclipses visible all across Virginia in 2045, 2048 and 2052.

For small-scale solar providers, the eclipse is a drop in the revenue bucket.

"My family and I plan to take a couple of days off and go to Missouri", said Marchand, director of recreation and lifelong learning for Burleson.

"Just as it is not safe to view the eclipse without protective eyewear or an indirect viewing method, using one's cell phone camera to view and/or record the eclipse should also be avoided", he said. But experts are warning about some solar glasses that might not meet safety guidelines.

Yes, but it will be indirect. NASA will broadcast the eclipse from various sources, including the International Space Station, for the show titled: Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA.

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