With Solar Eclipse being couple of days away, let’s catch on up what it is, where is visible and how can others (where it’s not visible) witness this event.
Going back to school for those who already know, Solar Eclipse is a celestial event occurs when a New Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the Sun’s rays completely or partially depending on the type of eclipse. Speaking of which there are four types of solar eclipses. Thanks to the Wikipedia, here are the list and its explanation.
A total eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the Moon completely obscures(conceals) the intensely bright light of the Sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona(aura around any celestial object) to be visible. During any one eclipse, totality occurs at best only in a narrow track on the surface of Earth.
An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line with the Earth, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, surrounding the dark disk of the Moon.
A hybrid eclipse (also called annular/total eclipse) shifts between a total and annular eclipse. At certain points on the surface of Earth, it appears as a total eclipse, whereas at other points it appears as annular. Hybrid eclipses are comparatively rare.
A partial eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are not exactly in line with the Earth and the Moon only partially obscures the Sun. This phenomenon can usually be seen from a large part of the Earth outside of the track of an annular or total eclipse. However, some eclipses can only be seen as a partial eclipse, because the umbra passes above the Earth’s polar regions and never intersects the Earth’s surface. Partial eclipses are virtually unnoticeable in terms of the sun’s brightness, as it takes well over 90% coverage to notice any darkening at all. Of course, partial eclipses (and partial stages of other eclipses) can be observed if one is viewing the sun through a darkening filter (which should always be used for safety).
So which one do we get to witness this time – its Total Solar Eclipse.
When I say total solar eclipse not everyone in the world will be able to witness this event. Only the northern United States will see this and partially by Southern America and part of Europe.
So how others can see this?? Well, isn’t that an easy answer when you have advanced modern technology! The internet of course!
I quote “Why worry, when you have NASA around”. Yes, they are providing us with a live screening over the web on this day so that everyone in the world can see it.
Follow this link to see the live stream that starts on August 21st – https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive-info
Here is the map of where the Eclipse is visible and also the time table.
People who get to see it.. Here are the points that you need to keep in mind!
DO NOT look into the Sun directly without appropriate protection (even during the normal days)! But, for a brief moment during the eclipse, when there is totality, you are allowed to see it directly.
You need special solar glasses or hand-held solar viewers to look at the eclipse.
Solar filters are necessary when viewing. Advise/supervise your children to do the same.
DO NOT look at the sun through a camera, binoculars, a telescope(without sun filters) or any other optical device – the solar rays will damage your eyes.
When eclipse is on full totality, remove your solar glasses and experience the beauty – you will know this when it gets dark and the moon covers the sun completely.
Follow this link to view other safety measures: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety
For those who don’t have solar glasses or access to a solar telescope. Here is another way of viewing it.
2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 paper plates
alternatively, 2 sheets of plain white paper
a thumbtack, a sharp pin, or a needle
To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny hole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumbtack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth.
With your back towards the Sun, hold 1 piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper.
The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.
To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.
Check this video:
Enjoy the Solar Eclipse! Hope this helps! If you have any questions, write to me or leave your comments here!!