How to tell if you’re ready for the Total Solar Eclipse 2017

By: Terry A. Yates, Jr  | tyates@newzgroup.com

If you are like us you have been infected with the total solar eclipse fever. Our fever is so strong that the staff here at Newz Group are throwing a noonday barbecue to celebrate its awesomeness! Nevertheless, what do you actually need to make sure you experience the solar eclipse safely? Well, first you will need some eclipse glasses or solar viewers if you want to enjoy it without doing damage to yourself.

Sadly, some people have the fever of exploiting those of us caught up in the solar eclipse frenzy. But here is a little information to inform you on the best way to find the correct lenses for your precious peepers to help you enjoy the total solar eclipse safely.

According to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) you want your eclipse glasses and solar viewers to be ISO (International Organization for Standards) 12312-2 compliant, which is the international safety standards for such products, and are thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.

To test and see if your eclipse glasses are up to the task of protecting your eyes, hold them up to an LED light bulb, if they are legit they should fully block out the light.

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It should be understood, but do not stare directly at the sun with your bare eyes. That is bad! However, you can view the solar eclipse when it reaches “totality” (the brief total phase of the solar eclipse) without protection. Not everyone is going to get to experience totality. So visit our good friends at NASA and see if you are one of the lucky ones!

If you are not fortunate enough to snag a pair of AAS or scientist approved eclipse glasses, fear not! There are other methods with which you can enjoy the solar eclipse. One of those is called pinhole projection.

Pinhole projection is fairly simple: just pass sunlight through a small opening, like a hole punched in an index card and project the image of the Sun onto a flat surface, like the ground or a picnic table. Even better, you do not need anything special to do this. You can simply cross your fingers like a “#” symbol. With your back to the sun look at the shadow of your hands on the ground. The space between your fingers will project a gird on the ground. The space between your fingers will reveal the Sun’s crescent shape.  You could also just look at the shadows all around you to see this effect as well.  Neat, huh?

For more information on how to have a fun and safe Total Solar Eclipse 2017 please, visit https://www.eclipseglasses.com/pages/aas-guide-on-safety

Also, check this list for reputable AAS approved vendors.

If you happen to be in Columbia, MO, where Newz Group Central Command is located, KBIA and Dogwood Solar are mailing out eclipse glasses.

However you decide to enjoy the solar eclipse on August 21st, make sure you do it safely!

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