A Rare Event!
On Monday, August 21st, the moon will be passing between the sun and the earth and will cast it’s shadow across the United States. Everyone in the contiguous United States will be able to catch a glimpse of the eclipse and it will visible in parts of South America, Africa and Europe too.
The moon will be passing between the sun and the earth and will cast it’s shadow across the states. In the “path of totality” North Americans will experience a total solar eclipse meaning that the sky will darken over 10,000 times it’s normal brightness for a period of time. In the Charlotte area, since we are a bit north of the path of totality, we will be seeing a partial solar eclipse meaning that the sun will not fully disappear behind the moon for us.
For Charlotte the Eclipse Details are:
- Duration: 2 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds
- Partial begins: Aug 21 at 1:12:20 pm
- Maximum: Aug 21 at 2:41:32 pm
- Partial ends: Aug 21 at 4:04:19 pm
Some Quick Tips to Stay Safe
With this exciting event happening so rarely, we know it will be something special and to help you enjoy this event safely, we gathered up a few tips that you will want to keep in mind.
- Never look directly into the sun – not even during an eclipse where the moon blocks all or most of the sunlight. We all want to see the eclipse, but it is damaging to your eyes to look toward the sun at any time.
- Use a pair of approved special-purpose solar filters/eclipse glasses; sunglasses are not enough! Check the American Astronomical Society (AAS) for reputable vendors of solar filters. If you cannot find approved eclipse glasses, see below for an alternative method to view the eclipse.
- Remember to be in a safe location before the eclipse starts. Be aware that drivers, pedestrians and even animals may be especially unpredictable during this time. If you are driving, stop your car safely and far enough from any roads to be safe from traffic.
- Take some time to explain what will happen to the people you work with and any children who may become anxious due to the extreme darkness during the day time. Explain that the moon is simply moving between the sun and the earth and will move completely out of the way in a couple of hours. This is a great time to learn about the sun, the moon and planetary orbits!
Can’t find any solar filters or “eclipse glasses”? Make a pinhole viewer!
A pinhole viewer is simple device that will display an image of the sun on a surface so that you can watch the eclipse with your back to the sun. It is very simple to make a crude pinhole viewer that will let you enjoy the eclipse safely! Here are a few tutorials for simple ones made from very inexpensive materials that you may already have on hand.
Cardboard Box Pinhole Viewer: https://www.wired.com/story/view-the-eclipse-with-this-simple-homemade-gadget/
Video How to Make a Pinhole Viewer with a Cereal Box: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/how-make-pinhole-projector-view-solar-eclipse
Another Cereal Box Tutorial: http://hilaroad.com/camp/projects/eclipse_viewer/eclipse_viewer.html
Solar eclipse expected to draw millions of travelers, and congestion, to Carolinas: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article167701132.html
Animation of what the Eclipse will look like from Charlotte and When: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/charlotte
The NASA page about the Eclipse: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/
A great explanation about Eclipses from NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-an-eclipse-k4