Want to Watch a Solar Eclipse Safely? Here’s What You Need to Do

Solar viewing glasses

People living in the United States are expected to be treated to a solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Experts say that the event should take about an house and a half to cross the country. This is a rare treat that only happens for a location every 375 years. So, you need to break out your solar eclipse viewing glasses to get ready, you are not going to want to miss this one.

One man knows how to watch the eclipse safely. They call Fred Espenak “Mr. Eclipse.” He has taken his eclipse viewing glasses all over the planet. He has spent his time looking at and taking pictures of both solar and lunar eclipses. Recently, he spoke to Space.comandnbsp;about the phenomenon. He also dispenses his tips and other advice about the different types of solar eclipse glasses on his own website. After observing 20 total eclipses, he knows what he is talking about. He was sent to 27 but other factors prevented him from viewing the other seven.

Espenak has been lucky enough to view eclipses on each continent on earth. He told the science outlet that one thing he likes about watching eclipses and taking images of them is the chance to get to some remote and interesting places around the world. He says that the first eclipse that he was able to view was in 1970. That was when he was but an amateur astronomer. It was a life changing experience for him and he decided he had to do what he could to see more of them.

One thing Espenak recommends that people do before they attempt to look at a solar eclipse is get some eclipse viewing glasses. He says they do not have to cost a lot to make a big difference. He says this is the way to watch the phases of the eclipse.

Espenak’s next tip may seen rather counterintuitive. He says that once the sun has been totally obscured by the moon, the solar viewing glasses should come off. He says it is safe to look them because most of the sun will be behind the moon. The sun’s corona is safe to look at. He also says that for people who are looking at their first eclipse, it is really a waste of time to try to take photos of the event. It is a better idea to just enjoy the show.

The moment when it becomes safe to look directly at the action will be clear. In a time frame that lasts about ten seconds, the bright day will turn into twilight. Therefore, there should be no need to guess about when the time comes to safely look up at the sun and what it is doing.

For people who really want to take a few images, any smartphone should be up to the task. Keeping the camera open and running is the best way to avoid missing the event because a person is fiddling with their camera equipment. Espenak recommends leaning against a post, tree or wall to make sure the shots are more clear and there is less movement.

Not everyone in the United States may be in the path of totality. Espenak says that the event is spectacular enough to warrant taking a day off and traveling to a spot that will be in the eclipse’s path of totality. These events are rare enough and cool enough to take kids out of school for the day to witness it. It can also be a great way to teach kids about space and get them interested in science.

One thing people may want to consider is that if they do plan to travel for the eclipse, they should make their reservations sooner than later. A lot of people will be traveling to see this event and hotels and motels can fill up quickly. If you know that you are not in the path of totality, making travel plans early can make all the difference in the world.

Buying some eclipse viewing glasses and heading out to view the next eclipse can be a family and personal experience that you will remember for your entire life.

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