Skywatchers prepare for total eclipse

Alan Olson
August 20, 2017

And remember - after day turns into night we could be in for a nightmare when it comes to traffic following the eclipse.

For a man who has seen three eclipses in his life, he said it's not something to miss.

On Aug. 21, all of North America will view a partial eclipse, when the moon obscures part of the sun.

Local optometrist Sean Smolenyak from Kelly Eye Center explains what could happen if you stare at the eclipse with the naked eye.

Solar glasses are for sale at both Kaleideum locations, but have been sold out several times. The eclipse will last from 9:12 to 11:47 a.m. Monday. "It'll go across the entire country in totality in one hour and 33 minutes". Totality lasts about 2 minutes. Illinoisans, rejoice - you'll get the longest bit of the eclipse in Carbondale.

Will any places in Colorado see the total eclipse?

Most of northern Colorado will hit 90 percent or more.

This doesn't mean total solar eclipses are especially rare, though.

As the eclipse approaches totality, shadows will look sharper and winds will dissipate - much like what happens on a typical evening around sunset.

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It will likely be very hard. Don't be in the dark about how to experience a solar eclipse safely.

At the height of the eclipse, the skies will darken, temperatures will drop, birds will stop singing and a breeze may blow driven by the drop in temperatures.

Cox is also looking forward to seeing how others react while watching the eclipse, including animals, which are said to act strangely.

It's been nearly 40 years since the last solar eclipse was visible in the United States. This map shows the path. The "eclipse wind" phenomenon puzzled meteorologists for some 300 years, until they finally came up with the most plausible explanation yet a couple years ago.

"These lenses provide more protection from damaging UV rays than standard sunglasses, and conform to a worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2".

Without certified viewing glasses, there are safe ways to observe projections of the eclipse, but Schindler emphasized again, "do not look at the Sun at any time".

He is recommending that all pet owners do the same as him.

Children should have adult supervision when making and using the eclipse viewer. NASA links tothis site of reputable eclipse glasses brands; see also on this page information about libraries and NASA viewing locations that are giving out free glasses. Take a look at these instructions. AAA and the Federal Communications Commission advise travelers that weather conditions will play a significant factor in where eclipse viewers decide to set up for the viewing.

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