Looking Up: Do Try This At Home (But Safety First!)

Jul 10, 2017

The thin blue line marks the path of solar eclipse totality across the U. S. on 8/21/17. Where will you be?
Credit nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we get the first of several episodes that will be dedicated to the total solar eclipse coming in August.  

One of the most remarkable things that can happen to the skies over the Untied States will take place next month, and so I want to give you a heads up so you can be ready. On the morning of August 21st, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the country! 

We’ll spend a few episodes of Looking Up helping you prepare so that you can safely observe this amazing and beautiful astronomical event.

A solar eclipse is when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun. There will be a narrow band across the country, about 70 miles across, that has a TOTAL solar eclipse, where the Moon blocks the Sun entirely for a couple of minutes. The closest totality to us is in central Wyoming and western Nebraska. The rest of the country, including Southern Colorado, will see a partial solar eclipse.

You’ll start to hear warnings about not looking directly at the Sun during this event, but there are goggles you can order that will let you look at this marvel safely. A quick on line search will reveal lots of places you can order the very inexpensive safety goggles from, including the Astronomical League, Sky and Telescope magazine and others. So heads up, you might want to place an order soon to ensure delivery before the big event. You don’t want to miss looking up that day!

If you’d like to take a closer look at the eclipse or any of the wonderful and amazing things in the sky, please visit csastro.org for a link to information on our monthly meetings and our free public star parties.