THE GREAT SOLAR ECLIPSE OF AUGUST 21, 2017
WHY ALL THE EXCITEMENT?
On August 21, 2017, the entire continental United States will experience a solar eclipse. For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). There have been solar eclipses before, but this is a phenomenon where seventeen (17) of the 50 states will get to witness a total eclipse while other states, Florida included, will experience a partial eclipse.
WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is in the new moon phase and travels between the Earth and the Sun. As the moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, the shadow blocks all or some of the sun’s light, causing the sky to be increasingly dark.
A solar eclipse can cause unusual changes to your surroundings, and it can last for several hours. However, the actual blockage of the sun will only last a couple of minutes.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
From Miami, a partial eclipse will be visible; only 0.8 magnitude, which means that just under 80% of the visible sun will be blocked by the moon. Note that during a partial solar eclipse, it is extremely dangerous to look directly at the sun even though a fraction of the sun is visible.
The timeframe of the eclipse for Miami-Dade County is between 1:26 PM EDT to 4:20 PM EDT.
The peak of the eclipse
for us will occur just before 3:00 PM
. You can use the interactive map at the NASA website to get more precise time for your specific location and duration for the entire event. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how
Solar Eclipse safety can be accessed at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS AND ALL VIEWERS
The Great Solar Eclipse is a fantastic learning opportunity for students and adults. However, in order to stay safe and avoid damaging your eyesight, NEVER look at the sky, for the following reasons:
- Even looking directly at a small part of the eclipse is too dangerous, as the normal squint response will not occur and the eye will be exposed to dangerous amounts of UV light. The cornea will focus the light and actually scorch the retina.
- There is no pain involved with retinal damage. By the time the damage is done it is too late.
- Additional viewing safety can be found at: http://www.starnetlibraries.org/EclipseGuide/
AAA Tips for Drivers