Things to Know About Solar Eclipse Viewing

Solar eclipse

The solar eclipse happens when the earth is between the moon and the Sun. It takes place when the moon, the Sun, and Earth are all aligned.

There are four kinds of eclipses:

Totality Eclipses

It takes place when the moon masks the Sun’s light intensity, altogether leaving a faint solar corona visible. It comes about only once every1.5 years.

The Annular Solar Eclipse

It comes about when the moon and Sun get aligned with the earth. The moon becomes visibly smaller, and then the Sun appears as a bright ring leaving a dark disk in the middle, which is the moon.

Hybrid Eclipse

It is a hybrid of the total and the annular eclipse. From one angle, it looks like an entire eclipse, while on the other, it is like an annular eclipse. The hybrid eclipse is very rare.

Partial Ecliptic

It occurs when the earth is not exactly in line with the moon and the Sun.

Watching the solar eclipse is one of the most exceptional experiences because it happens once in a long time. The whole world, for a few minutes, focuses all its attention on the sky. There are various myths about watching the eclipse like viewing any eclipse with the naked eye could damage your eyesight, but this is not true. You can see the totality eclipse without using any protection, and your eyes will be just perfect. You will only need eye protection when watching the partial solar eclipse and partial-phases eclipse during the total solar eclipse.

Exciting Facts about the Solar Eclipse

  • The longest period an eclipse can last is seven minutes.
  • Shadows of the eclipse travel a distance of 1,100 miles in 1-hour at the equator and 5,000 miles close to the poles.
  • Total eclipse episodes are not noticeable till the Sun is over 90 percent covered by the moon. Daytime lighting resembles a twilight when the Sun is 99 percent covered.
  • You will only be able to view at least 2 solar eclipses every year from the earth.
  • Identical eclipses occur every 18 years and 11 days.
  • You will only be able to view Partial solar eclipse from the north or the South Pole.
  • Birds and animals prepare to sleep in confusion during a totality eclipse.

Tips for Viewing the Eclipse

  • DO NOT look directly at the Sun with your naked eyes. Always wear safely recommended filters that will protect your eyes from the harsh rays of light emanation from the eclipse. Avoid using regular sunglasses, smoked glasses, exposed color, X-ray films, or photographic neutral density filters. They will not protect your eyes, and you might end up with severe eye problems or even blindness. 
  • USE solar filters for your telescope. When using a telescope, especially from home, ensure you have a safe solar filter. Put it at the end facing the sky and not the rear end you are viewing.
  • USE commercial eclipse glasses. They are readily available and can be purchased online or at any local nature center and museums. They are straightforward to use.
  • USE Welders Glasses. Ensure you use the #14, and you will be able to view the eclipse clearly and directly. The best thing about the welder’s glasses is that they are durable and are available to be used for a more extended period.

You are Viewing Locally at an Astronomy Park or Nature Center

It’s the best way to watch a solar eclipse. You will interact with fellow amateur astronomers and sky gazers that do it casually, which will be a lot of fun and learning at the same time. You will also get the best possible angles and views to see the eclipse,an experience that will take more than a year to happen again.

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