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How to safely view a solar eclipse

How To Safely View A Solar Eclipse

An extra spectacular and rare event will be visible from Indiana this August. On August 21, 2017 you can see a total solar eclipse, which last occurred in the continental US in 1979! Indianapolis will experience a partial solar eclipse with 91% of the sun’s surface will be covered by the moon. As we parepare for this event, it's time to ask an important question—do you know how to view a solar eclipse safely?

This is a bit of a trick question because it's always dangerous to look at the sun. Except for the few minutes when the moon's shadow completely covers the sun during a total solar eclipse, you should never try to view a solar eclipse directly without approved eclipse-viewing glasses or filters. But, you can still enjoy this rare spectacle! 

Read this flyer about safely viewing a solar eclipse. You WILL need eclipse-viewing glasses or a pin-hole camera because it is NOT safe to look directly at the sun, even during a partial solar eclipse. The good news is that safe eclipse-viewing glasses can be purchased online, and a pin-hole camera can be made at home! In fact, you can quickly create a pinhole projector, with just two sheets of paper and a thumbtack! 

Just take one sheet of paper and poke a small hole in the middle of it using a thumbtack. Then, facing away from the sun, use the sheet of paper the block the sun and hold the other sheet of paper at an arms-length distance in front of you. The sheet of paper with the hole or the pinhole projector will create an inverted image of the sun on the sheet of paper without the hole or the screen. You can also create a pinhole project with a cardboard box or a pair of binoculars. With any of these projectors, you should never look through the pinhole at the sun. 

Remember, you should never use sunglasses, smoked glass, x-ray films, or camera filters to view a solar eclipse, ONLY approved eclipse-viewing glasses or filters. 

For a list of more skywatching events in 2017, visit the blog!  
And check out these additional resources for the upcoming eclipse: 

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Categories: Science
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