How to avoid buying bogus solar eclipse glasses

Saul Bowman
August 9, 2017

Oh, and more thing, and this is critically important: do NOT attempt to look at the sun during the eclipse, even when we have totality.

If nothing else, viewers can watch the shadow cross the sun by sticking a pinhole in a paper plate and letting the beams stream through the tiny hole onto a piece of paper or a screen on the wall.

In just about two weeks, eyes will be on the sky when a total solar eclipse crosses the U.S. The path of totality begins in Lincoln Beach, Oregon.

Eugene is not in the "path of totality", the 62-mile-wide strip where, weather permitting, people will be able to see the moon pass in front of the sun. The last solar eclipse visible from the USA took place in 2012. Can I stare at the sun during the eclipse? No.

The problem is, vendors seem to be slapping that label onto glasses that don't meet the qualifications, possibly looking to earn a quick buck amid the excitement surrounding the August 21, celestial event.

"It's unbelievable to think that when the last solar eclipse crossed the United States coast-to-coast, an artist's painting or perhaps a photograph was the best way to share it. Thanks to Volvo, CNN and emerging technology, people can experience the eclipse as if they are there". Hence their coming together infers incest. However, solar eclipses in general happen pretty often. In Mark Twain's 1889 novel, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", the protagonist, Hank Morgan, a 19th-century resident of Hartford, Connecticut, finds himself transported back some 13 centuries to medieval England.

"We're about 1.2 miles off of NASA's pinpoint marker on the map that shows the greatest place for total eclipse", he added. Here is some background on the eclipse and tips on how to best view the historical event.

That sentiment comes from someone who has witnessed seven total eclipses as well as four partial and two annular eclipses (those where the sun's outer circumference is visible). The element Helium (named for Helios the Greek god of the sun) was discovered during the total solar eclipse of August 18, 1868, long before it was found on Earth.

In Olathe, for example, the moon will be seen to cover 99.2 percent of the sun's surface. Another total eclipse was visible in the United States of America from the Pacific Northwest on february 26, 1979.

On August 21, a total solar eclipse will touch the US mainland for the first time since 1979, following a path that crosses the country from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The last time it did so was in 1918. In Muncie and Anderson, the partial eclipse begins about 12:59 p.m., maxing at 2:25 p.m. and ending at 3:48 p.m.

Wang says, even with approved viewing glasses - do not stare at the sun during the partial eclipse. It will resemble twilight and the temperature will drop 10 to 15 degrees. Sunglasses do not have a good enough filter to protect your eyes.

In fact, it will still be too bright to look safely without using solar glasses.

Michelle Bowman, Lead Operations Research Analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy, said: "The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) does not anticipate the eclipse will create any reliability issues (based on their 2017 Summer Reliability Assessment)".

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