The Great American Solar Eclipse is expected to take place today, i.e., August 21. The unique phenomenon will last for two minutes and forty seconds in totality and cause a blackout in the entire United States almost after 99 years (last time it happened was in 1918).
In India, the eclipse is estimated to last between 9.15 pm to 2.34 am.
Generally, there is huge anxiety and also slight fear that surrounds the phenomenon of a solar eclipse. Popular belief is that watching a solar eclipse causes danger, especially to pregnant women and children, so one should stay indoors. On the other hand, scientists and astronomers around the world say that there is no scientific evidence that solar eclipses can affect human behavior, health, or the environment. Scientists, however, insist that anyone watching a solar eclipse must protect their eyes.
Various stages of the solar eclipse
Here’s a quick guide to watch nature’s rare spectacle that unfolds in the sky tonight and also stay safe at the same time.
- The best way of viewing a solar eclipse is by wearing eclipse glasses meant for the purpose. The lenses of solar-viewing glasses are made from special-purpose solar filters that are hundreds of thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses, according to Rick Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Look for the ‘ISO 12312-2’ mark for authenticity when you buy one. And remember, sunglasses are never a substitute for solar-viewing glasses.
- Another good method is making a pinhole projector to watch the progress of the moon across the sun’s surface. You can get creative and make your own 2D/3D Printed Pinhole Projectors in the shape of the USA or a US State.
- This one’s a bit crazy but it will prove to be real fun. You can actually plan an eclipse party with friends and take the entire experience of watching today’s solar eclipse a notch higher! Parks, open fields or simply your own backyard can be the best venue. Choose a place that has access to shade and facilities.
- Be smart and stay informed on the latest updates regarding the The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 with the various eclipse apps.
- Finally, post the eclipse, share your experience through imagery, video and artwork through various photo sharing sites.