What is a total solar eclipse and how does it happen?
A total solar eclipse is an event that happens when the sun, moon and earth are in alignment. At that time, we see the shadow of the moon on the earth and because the moon is smaller, so is the shadow. The shadow is usually 50-60 miles wide where it is totally eclipsed! Totality for this eclipse will last from a few seconds to two minutes and forty five seconds, depending on your location.
Where will be total solar eclipse be visible?
The total solar eclipse will be visible throughout the United States! The line of totality will go from the northwest to the southeast. In order to see totality, you must be in the line of the moon’s shadow. The farther in you are in the shadow, the longer totality. Here is a map, provided by NASA, which shows the solar eclipse path in North America.
Is it SAFE to watch a solar eclipse?
No and yes!! When the solar eclipse begins, you will need to wear protective glasses or use safe viewers to watch it. When the moon COMPLETELY COVERS the sun, it is fine to remove the glasses and experience darkness in the afternoon! HOWEVER, you need to keep your glasses and/or viewers close by!! At our location in Horton, Kansas, totality will last approximately 2 ½ minutes and it will go by fast!!! You can order your glasses or viewers from eclipsestuff.com . They are inexpensive and completely safe!!
What happens during totality?
When the moon completely covers the sun, you will first notice how dark it gets! Some streetlights will come one, the birds will react differently and people will be standing there in AWE!! Then, surrounding the sun is the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona. After observing the corona for a few minutes, take some time to view the bright stars and planets that are visible. We will provide you a link for the sky for that day so you can pick out the bright stars and planets!
How bright is the Sun?
If you compare the brightness to the full moon, take the brightness of the full moon and multiply it by 100,000 times, and you will see why you don’t look directly at the sun without using protection!!!