The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers.
The Great American Eclipse will make its way across North America Monday, Aug. 21, stretching from OR in the west to SC in the east. The American Astronomical Society has published a list of verified manufacturers and authorized dealers of solar filters and viewers. You can't avoid it if you tried.
If you miss Monday's eclipse - or get bitten by the eclipse bug - you'll have to wait seven years to see another one in the continental U.S. The very next total solar eclipse will be in 2019, but you'll have to be below the equator for a glimpse.
If you are in the path of totality, you can safely look at the eclipse without glasses once it reaches totality. The people who see the total eclipse are in the center of the moon's shadow when it hits Earth. Odds are, you are a short vehicle ride away from the path of totality.
The Jasper Public Library will be livestreaming NASA TV's coverage of the solar eclipse on Monday, as well as distribute 50 pairs of eclipse glasses during the event. From that standpoint, it will be - as Science Channel promos trumpet - a "Great American Eclipse". Space enthusiasts will have up to two minutes and 40 seconds to see the eclipse, though in many places totality will be even shorter. "Because I grew up in OR, it's especially important to me that I see the eclipse there", said Ellen Girardeau Kempler, a Laguna Beach resident. You can look indirectly with a pinhole projector that you can make yourself. Looking at the sun is always bad for your eyes, but looking at an eclipse with the naked eye can cause serious, lasting damage. If you're in Nebraska, Interstate 80 between North Platte and Lincoln will provide a great view of the eclipse.
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An astronomer who specializes in solar imaging, he's been photographing eclipses for more than three decades, and will be using 14 cameras to capture the August 21 celestial event. You should also take caution if you're driving and don't take for granted that everyone will be paying attention to the surrounding traffic at the time. National networks, including CNN and the Weather Channel will cover the solar eclipse on television and on their websites. Here are a few things to know if you're looking to catch the upcoming solar eclipse. The rest of continental US has a chance to view a partial eclipse. If you live in Southern California, you'll see at least 75 percent of the sun covered by the moon.
On the other end, the eclipse will start in Columbia, South Carolina at 1:03 p.m. EDT with totality starting at 2:41 p.m. Totality will start to wane at 2:44 p.m. and the eclipse itself ending at 4:06 p.m.
Wherever you end up watching the eclipse tomorrow, pray for clear enough skies. However, even without a filter you can still view the eclipse via projection. But don't fret - Central Alabama will have spectacular views of the eclipse as well.
Also, if you're on the road when the full eclipse happens, THP has been asking people not to pull off or stop on the road to take pictures.
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