Total solar eclipse, August 21 — Don’t miss it!!

On August 21, much of the US will experience a total or near-total solar eclipse for the first time in 99 years.

This article on the Spacewatch website provides complete details about the how and why of a solar eclipse; map showing the areas of totality; and, precautions for viewing the eclipse.

Our area is not in the path of the total eclipse.  Instead, at the height of the eclipse here, one edge of the sun will still be visible.  Visit this page for an animation of the eclipse as seen from Richmond, VA.

For our neighborhood:

  • The eclipse will start in our neighborhood at 1:18 PM, Monday, August 21.
  • Near totality will occur at 2:44 PM
  • The eclipse will end here at 4:03 PM.

CAUTION: PLEASE READ AND HEED THE WARNINGS ABOUT VIEWING THE SOLAR ECLIPSE — the Spacewatch article has instructions for viewing the eclipse.  Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause serious damage to your eyes, even blindness.  DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT VIEWING THE ECLIPSE THROUGH BINOCULARS, A CAMERA OR A TELESCOPE.

UPDATE:  THIS IS IMPORTANT.  JULY 29

One way to safely view the eclipse directly is to use “eclipse glasses.”  These are protective glasses, mostly made of heavy-duty cardboard, with lenses specially made to greatly reduce the light coming from the sun.  However, it turns out now that fake eclipse glasses are being sold.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Now that a total solar eclipse is just one month away, NASA has issued a warning to let people know unsafe eclipse glasses are being distributed by “unscrupulous companies.”

The space agency recommends only using eclipse glasses with ISO 12312-2 printed on them that have been printed by the four following companies:

— American Paper Optics,

— Rainbow Symphony,

— Thousand Oaks Optical, and

— TSE 17.

NASA says buying your eclipse glasses on Amazon does not ensure their safety.

“Make sure to check your eclipse glasses and viewers to verify that they have the correct ISO designation and were manufactured by one of the four companies recognized by NASA as legitimate,” the agency noted.